Thai Man Kills Baby Daughter in Video Posted Live to Facebook

By Deepa Seetharaman Features Dow Jones Newswires

A man in Thailand this week live-streamed himself murdering his baby daughter on Facebook, the latest example of the use of the social-media platform to broadcast disturbing, violent videos.

Continue Reading Below

The incident highlights the global scale of Facebook's challenge in sifting through live video in different languages and countries largely from its offices in Silicon Valley.

The footage of the killing on Monday was up for about 24 hours before Facebook took it down, according to media reports. Reuters reported that the man broadcast two videos, the first of which was viewed 112,000 times, and a second which garnered 258,000 views. The man later killed himself off-camera, the media reports said.

A spokeswoman for Facebook Inc. confirmed the incident but declined to say whether users had flagged the videos to Facebook for removal.

"There is absolutely no place for acts of this kind on Facebook and the footage has now been removed," the spokeswoman said.

The Thai live stream is likely to put even more pressure on Facebook to do more to prevent or more quickly take down violent videos. The site has been used as a platform to display a series of violent events in the past year, including the shooting earlier this month of an elderly man in Cleveland.

Continue Reading Below

Facebook came under fire for its failure last week to quickly remove the video, which showed the victim being shot in the head. After posting the video, 37-year-old Steve Stephens went on Facebook Live to talk about what he had done and other alleged crimes. He committed suicide two days later in Pennsylvania following a brief pursuit by police.

Following the outcry over its handling of the Cleveland video, Facebook said last week that it would conduct a deeper review of how it handles objectionable content.

In a blog post last week, Justin Osofsky, Facebook's vice president of global operations, acknowledged its content-review process was flawed and that it wanted to improve how it allowed users to flag objectionable content to Facebook. Mr. Osofsky said Facebook was also looking into how the company managed and prioritized the reported content.

It is unclear if Facebook changed anything in its review process before the Thai killing.

Facebook didn't respond to a request for comment on the status of the view.

That content-review process could be even more complicated for videos outside the U.S. and Europe such as the Thai murder. The team of contract workers that Facebook has tasked with handling live video reports for now is located in the Bay Area. It works around the clock in eight-hour shifts. It is unclear how the team works.

According to a tally of local news reports by The Wall Street Journal, people have used Facebook Live to broadcast more than 60 sensitive or violent videos, including murder, suicide and rape. The episodes include the beating in January of a mentally disabled teenager in Chicago and a gang rape of a woman in Sweden in February.

Write to Deepa Seetharaman at Deepa.Seetharaman@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 25, 2017 18:58 ET (22:58 GMT)