London, June 6 (IANS) A two-minute video clip on Facebook of a screaming baby being roughly and repeatedly plunged in a bucket of water has left child rights activists fuming.
The film showed a woman in a kitchen, believed to be in Indonesia, repeatedly ducking a crying young baby into a tub of water, while holding the child upside down.
The video spread around the world, with some people claiming it was an example of “baby yoga”. But child rights activists, notably England’s leading charity National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), cried it was clear abuse.
“What is one person’s baby yoga in one cultural context is child abuse in another context,” Claire Lilley from NSPCC was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
“The baby is flung about in a very violent way which could cause serious damage to its brain and its limbs. We just don’t think it’s appropriate for that to be so easily viewable,” Lilley added.
The NSPCC called on the government to intervene to help safeguard children on social networks.
As the outrage grew, the video was taken down, possibly by the person who originally posted it.
Facebook had earlier defended its decision not to censor the film, saying it did not break its rules and that to take it down would also mean the site had to ban videos of brutality during the Arab spring or depicting animal cruelty.
“Like others, we find the behaviour in this video upsetting and disturbing. We face a difficult choice: balancing people’s desire to raise awareness of behaviour like this against the disturbing nature of the video,” a Facebook spokesman was quoted as saying.
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said the case raised a broader, more serious issue.
“We have now reached the long overdue point where it is time for social networking sites to be held to account for the content on their sites and pay more attention to their safeguarding duties to protect children and young people, whether they are viewing the content or appearing in it,” he was quoted as saying.