A leading London-based child protection charity on Friday criticized Facebook for not taking down an alleged child abuse video, and demanded the social networking site be held accountable for the content. The charity also wrote a letter to the U.K. government asking it to intervene.
According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), the video, which Facebook refused to remove from its site, shows “a terrified, sobbing baby” being repeatedly dunked in a bucket of water by an adult. The organization also urged the California-based firm to cooperate with the British authorities to track down the individual in the video.
“While the welfare of this child is naturally paramount we would also urge you to look at all available options which will ensure U.K. citizens, including millions of children, are no longer exposed to this kind of dreadful and disturbing content,” Peter Wanless, CEO of NSPCC, wrote in the letter on Friday.
NSPCC said it is time for social networking sites to pay more attention to their "safeguarding duties" to protect children and young people.
Although Facebook acknowledged that the video is “upsetting and disturbing,” it said that users should still be able to watch the clip as it does not breach any rules. “In cases where people are raising awareness or condemning the practice, we are marking reported videos as disturbing, which means they have a warning screen and are accessible only to people over the age of 18,” a spokeswoman for Facebook told BBC News.
A company representative, meanwhile, dismissed the video as “baby yoga.”
“Whilst we understand that people may be upset by this video, which depicts a form of baby yoga, after careful review we found it does not break our rules,” Mirror quoted the representative as saying.
The two-minute video shows a baby being twisted by her arms and held upside down from her legs while being repeatedly submerged in the water multiple times. The infant also cries at first but stops when the person changes the way of holding her.