A 20-year-old man filmed himself killing his baby daughter in an abandoned hotel in Thailand while streaming the incident live on Facebook, before taking his own life. The horrific footage – posted in two videos that lasted over four minutes – remained accessible on the man’s Facebook page for almost 24 hours.
The crime took place Monday on the island of Phuket, and the alarm was raised by the baby’s mother who contacted police to say her boyfriend had posted a video on his Facebook page which showed him tying a noose around his daughter’s neck before lowering her body over the edge of the third floor of the abandoned hotel.
“You can hear the girl crying [on the video] and finally the crying stops. Then he pulls her up onto the rooftop and unties the rope from her neck,” a local police officer said Tuesday, describing the contents of the videos. Before they were removed Tuesday, the two clips had been watched 370,000 times.
“This is an appalling incident and our hearts go out to the family of the victim,” a Facebook spokesman told VICE News. “There is absolutely no place for content of this kind on Facebook and it has now been removed.”
Facebook took down the videos following a request from Thailand’s ministry of digital economy. “We contacted Facebook today and Facebook removed the videos,” a spokesman said. The ministry added it will not be taking any action against the company. “We will not be able to press charges against Facebook, because Facebook is the service provider and they acted according to their protocol when we sent our request. They cooperated very well.”
However because the clip was available online for so long, it has been widely shared on social media in Thailand – one TV station even broadcast the clip. While it blurred the faces of those involved, this decision was strongly criticized.
The man, who has been named as Wuttisan Wongtalay, had an argument with his girlfriend in the early hours of Monday morning, threatening to kill her because he believed she was having an affair, according to multiple media reports of his partner’s own account of the incident. She then fled the house, but when she returned on Monday afternoon, Wuttisan left with the child, saying he would be home later. Soon after, the video footage was posted on Facebook.
Facebook is still reeling from a controversy earlier this month when footage of Steve Stephens killing Robert Godwin in Cleveland on Easter Sunday was posted to the social network and remained there for hours before finally being taken down. At the time Facebook said it was “constantly exploring ways that new technologies can help us make sure Facebook is a safe environment.”
Cover: ASSOCIATED PRESS