Facebook has removed a “baby yoga” video after the posting drew instant backlash again the presumed mother of the infant, who is seen dunking the baby in water and thrashing it about by the head – and Facebook, which initially said the abuse video did not violate its content standards because it showed the baby doing “yoga.”
Writes the NY Daily News: “The video, posted on May 26, shows a naked baby screaming as it’s flung by its arms rapidly around a bucket of water. A woman swings the baby in circles before holding it upside down by its leg and shaking it. It’s unclear where the incident occurred, although many reports point to Indonesia or Russia. The woman’s face is not pictured in the two-minute clip.”
Public pressure finally pushed Facebook to remove the disturbing video. Multiple children’s charities around the globe decried the video, calling it nothing more than child abuse caught on film. Facebook, which initially dubbed the video acceptable because it showed “baby yoga,” backtracked this week and took the video down.
The baby is seen screaming as a person – thought to be the mother – swings the infant around by the limbs, pulls the arms, hangs the baby upside down and even holds the baby by the head.
Facebook issued a statement about the video:
“In this case, we are removing any reported instances of the video from Facebook that are shared supporting or encouraging this behavior. 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.”
In other words, such videos may be left on the site, albeit with a warning, if they are raising an awareness of what not to do.
Commented Simon Milner, director of policy at Facebook: “Our judgment is that when this issue is being shared to draw attention to it and condemn what is happening, and ideally to try and help this child and rescue the child, then yes, there is a place for it on Facebook,” he said. “If it was being shared to praise it or to make fun of it, absolutely not, and we will take it down.”
That explanation doesn’t sit well with Peter Wanless, the head of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Wanless said the fact the video was allowed in the first place shows that “social media companies still aren’t taking this issue seriously.”
Wanless wrote: “I was deeply troubled today to see there is yet another disturbing video circulating on social media. The two-minute film on Facebook shows a terrified, sobbing baby being constantly immersed in a bucket of water by an unidentified adult. We are obviously extremely concerned for the welfare of the infant and are urging Facebook to offer every cooperation with the authorities to try and track down this callous individual and protect the baby.”
Critics of the Facebook policy say it shouldn’t matter what the context is. Videos like this one should never be allowed.
The video is still available on other sites; we are not linking it here.
What do you think about Facebook’s “baby yoga” explanation?