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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Facebook under fire from charity over abuse video

This news post is over 7 years old
 

Charity wants government action to bring internet companies into line after Facebook refuses to remove disturbing video

Facebook has come under fire from a children’s charity for allowing a video showing a baby allegedly being abused by a carer.

The two minute video shows an infant sobbing uncontrollably as it is twisted, pulled and pushed into a bucket of water.

Its head does not actually get submerged but other parts of the baby’s body is.

It has received thousands of comments on the social media site and has also been shared thousands of times.

Children’s charity the NSPCC said the video is “disturbing” and was concerned for the welfare of the child.

Facebook said the video does not breach its rules. Instead the social media site said it reported any incidents to the relevant authorities when appropriate.

It acknowledged that the video was "upsetting and disturbing", but said its users should still be able to watch it.

The NSPCC now wants a body created to ensure internet companies do not breach child protection and other laws.

It is now time for the light to be shone on the responsibilities of social media companies - Peter Wanless

Chief executive Peter Wanless has written to the UK government asking it to step in.

"Over the last two years, under the leadership of the prime minister, the government partnership with industry has taken major strides in tackling child sexual abuse images on the internet,” he wrote.

"Google, Microsoft and other companies have prioritised this issue.

"It is now time for the light to be shone on the responsibilities of social media companies, an area where progress has been extremely slow.

"As you know, the government convened a meeting of the social media companies to look at these issues in February 2014 but there has been no substantial progress since then.

"We have just re-elected a new government and now is the time for a renewed mandate and focus."

A spokeswoman for Facebook said: "In cases like these, we face a difficult choice: balancing people's desire to raise awareness of behaviour like this against the disturbing nature of the video.

"In this case, we are removing any reported instances of the video from Facebook that are shared supporting or encouraging this behaviour.

"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."

 

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