Today I saw something horrible. It's a video, uploaded to facebook, in which an adult male is physically abusing a young boy - slapping him, hitting him, forcing him to stand in stress positions. It's child abuse. And it's there for the world to see in a video on facebook.
The video itself is below because words cannot describe how sickening it is. I couldn't watch all of it and I didn't want to. As I said, the video's below but I'd strongly warn you that you will find it very difficult and upsetting to watch.
I reported the video to facebook for containing "graphic violence" as there wasn't any way to report it simply for being child abuse. A friend did the same as well and we both got this response:
According to facebook there's nothing wrong with the video. Someone in facebook received our reports, and others like it no doubt, and then looked at the video, saw a grown man beating up a child and said "there's nothing wrong with that".
Yet this is the same facebook that frequently takes down images of mothers breastfeeding for containing "sexually explicit content".
I'm writing this just because I'm so outraged by how fundamentally wrong this is. There's nothing more I can do about it, I've reported it to CEOP because the child in the video might still be in danger and I hope the police will be able to identify the child and ensure that he's safe but that's all I can do. But, judging by the fact that the person in the video isn't speaking English, the actions in it probably didn't take place in the UK and there won't be anything the police can do about it.
That's a harrowing thought. But there's so much violence in this world, so many crimes, that goes unaccounted for and unpunished - we know that, it can't be helped as much as it sickens us.
But this video doesn't have to be up on the biggest social media site in the world for all to see. It doesn't have to be hosted and then formally given a seal of approval by facebook when they say it doesn't breach their "Community Standards". The same Community Standards which say they prohibit "sadistic" content.
We don't have to live in a society where a multibillion dollar company sees nothing "sadistic" about a video of a man violently abusing a child who can't defend itself. That's why I've written this blogpost. Because there's nothing else I can do but draw attention to it and hope that, some way, some how, enough attention will be drawn to it that facebook are forced to act.
Here's the video I'm talking about. It's hosted on facebook so as soon as and if they take it down then it will disappear. But until they do it will remain up here as a reminder of what they find acceptable.
UPDATE: The CEOP got back to me and informed me that the police were already investigating the video and that Facebook has previously told them that it takes the view that, since the video is mostly being shared by people saying how horrific it is, it don't think it's something action should be taken over as long as the video is only being shared to condemn child abuse. For that reason, I've removed the link to the video on Facebook from this article.