Asia-Pacific News

Man livestreams murder of baby daughter on Facebook before committing suicide

Key Points
  • A Thai man broadcast himself killing his baby daughter on Facebook.
  • The video was reportedly available to view for 24 hours before being taken down.
  • Facebook called it an "appalling incident".

A Thai man broadcast a video of himself killing his baby daughter on Facebook then committing suicide, with the content reportedly being available to view for 24 hours before being taken down. The social media giant is under mounting pressure to deal with inappropriate posts.

The footage showed Wuttisan Wongtalay hanging his daughter by the neck from the rooftop of a building in Phuket, a popular vacation destination, Reuters reported. Wongtalay then killed himself but this part was not broadcast.

Users could view the video of the murder on Wongtalay's Facebook page for 24 hours from Monday before it was taken down around 5 p.m. Bangkok, according to Reuters.

"This is an appalling incident and our hearts go out to the family of the victim. There is absolutely no place for content of this kind on Facebook and it has now been removed," a spokesperson for the U.S. technology firm said in a statement released to several media outlets.

A copy of the video was also posted on Google-owned service YouTube. Britain's BBC flagged the content to YouTube and it was taken down within 15 minutes, a spokesperson for Google told CNBC.

"YouTube has clear policies that outline what's acceptable to post and we quickly remove videos that break our rules when they're flagged," a statement from the spokesperson said.

Live-stream incidents

Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy said it contacted Facebook on Tuesday afternoon to get the video removed. The Ministry told Reuters that it is not able to press charges against Facebook because the technology firm is a "service provider and they acted according to their protocol when we sent our request."

Police in Thailand said on Wednesday they are discussing how to speed up the removal of inappropriate online content.

The incident has raised the pressure on Facebook to deal with inappropriate content following a string of other horrific videos on the platform. Earlier this month, a man called Steve Stephens posted a video boasting to have killed 74-year-old former foundry worker Robert Goodwin. A video of the killing was posted on Facebook and was live for three hours before being taken down. Stephens later shot himself after a police chase.

Alleged Facebook killer has died: PA state police
Alleged Facebook killer has died: PA state police

Another incident in March involved the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl which was streamed live on Facebook. And on Tuesday, three men were jailed in Sweden for raping a woman and live streaming it on Facebook.

'A lot of work to do'

The social networking giant has been heavily criticized for its handling of such content and has tried to address the problem.

"We have a lot of work and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the company's F8 conference this month.

Facebook CEO: Hearts go out to victim's friends and family
Facebook CEO: Hearts go out to victim's friends and family

Justin Osofsky, Facebook's vice president for global operations and media partnerships, wrote a blog post this month which said the company is reviewing how it handles violent videos and admitted that it has more work to do.

"We prioritize reports with serious safety implications for our community, and are working on making that review process go even faster," Osofsky said.

The company is also researching artificial intelligence (AI) systems that can look at photos and videos to flag inappropriate content to Facebook's team of reviewers.