Thai man films himself killing his 11-month-old daughter on Facebook Live before committing suicide https://t.co/BuoFZ7nXXQ— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) April 25, 2017
Just a week after a Cleveland man broadcast a murder on Facebook, the social media giant is going to have to answer questions about why it took so long for live video of a tragic murder in Thailand to be pulled off the site a full 24 hours after it was shot. As Reuters reports, a Facebook Live broadcast made by 20-year-old Wuttisan Wongtalay in the Phuket province of Thailand showing him hanging his 11-month-old daughter went up on the site Monday evening, and was ultimately removed Tuesday at around 5 p.m. local time, roughly a day later. Wuttisan then took his own life, and both bodies were found the next day.
Reportedly, the man's suicide was not recorded or broadcast live.
Police Col. Jirasak Siemsak tells the Associated Press that officers received reports of the video and then located the bodies of Wuttisan and his daughter at an abandoned hotel in Phuket. "He felt neglected by his wife because they had been fighting so he took his 11-month-old daughter to the site of the crime which is the abandoned hotel," Jirasak said.
Jullaus Suvannin, the officer in charge of the case, tells Reuters, "He was having paranoia about his wife leaving him and not loving him." The wife, Jiranuch Triratana, tells Reuters that "she had lived with him for over a year. At first the relationship had gone well... but then he grew violent and sometimes hit her five-year-old son from a previous husband."
The video, which was available for viewing on Wuttisan's Facebook page and apparently also on YouTube Tuesday, depicted "Wuttisan Wongtalay tying a rope to his daughter Natalie's neck before dropping the child, dressed in a bright pink dress, from the rooftop of a deserted building," per Reuters.
A version of the video was pulled down from YouTube within 15 minutes after the BBC informed the company of its presence. Meanwhile, no flagging or filtering seems to have triggered any response by Facebook, and apparently it took Thailand's ministry of digital economy contacting Facebook Tuesday afternoon before the video was removed.
A Singapore-based Facebook spokesperson gave a statement to Reuters saying, "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 Thai ministry, Somsak Khaosuwan, tells Reuters: "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 co-operated very well."
It remains unclear why it should have taken so much time for a video like this to catch the attention of Facebook's monitors, especially after the Cleveland case in which the murder of 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. remained on the site for approximately two hours before being pulled down. The company said at the time that they were "working on improving our review processes" and "we know we need to do better."
That event was dramatic enough for Wired editor Nicholas Thompson to suggest that it could "change the game" for the way Facebook handles video, and this second tragic incident occurring in such quick succession is sure only to heighten the urgency.