Thu, Apr 27, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Police to review online content removal

TIME LAPSE:The time difference between Bangkok and San Francisco is said to be the reason it took Facebook about 24 hours to remove the video, viewed 500,000 times

Reuters, BANGKOK

Jiranuch Trirat, the mother of an 11-month-old girl who was killed by her father, on Tuesday stands next to a photograph of her daughter at a temple in Phuket, Thailand.

Photo: Reuters

Police in Thailand yesterday said they would discuss how to speed up taking down “inappropriate online content” after a man broadcast himself killing his 11-month-old daughter in a live video on Facebook.

Two videos, which were available for nearly 24 hours before they were taken down, show Wuttisan Wongtalay on Monday hanging his daughter from a building in Phuket before he turned off the camera and killed himself.

“In the future we will discuss inappropriate online content, whether on Facebook or YouTube or Instagram, and how we can speed up taking this content down,” deputy Thai police spokesman Kissana Phatanacharoen told reporters.

It was not immediately clear how authorities plan to speed things up.

Police had asked the Thai Ministry of Digital Economy to contact Facebook about removing the videos.

The ministry on Tuesday contacted Facebook and the videos were taken down at about 5pm, nearly a day after they had been uploaded.

The videos, which drew nearly half a million views before they were taken down, sparked outrage among netizens, and prompted questions about how Facebook’s reporting system works and how violent content can be flagged faster.

The case is the latest in a string of violent crimes that have plagued Facebook despite making up a small percentage of videos. On Tuesday a Swedish court jailed three men for the rape of a woman that was broadcast live on Facebook.

Last week, Facebook said it was reviewing how it monitored violent footage and other objectionable material after a posting of the fatal shooting of a man in Cleveland, Ohio was visible for two hours before being taken down.

Some are asking what took Thai authorities so long to act.

Kissana blamed the delay partly on the time difference between the US, where Facebook is headquartered, and Thailand.

“We did the best we could, but there’s the time difference issue because Facebook is headquartered in San Francisco,” Kissana said, without elaborating.

He said Thai police have two ways of being alerted about disturbing content: monitoring by a dedicated technology crime suppression division or a tip-off from the public using police hotlines.

A cousin of the baby’s mother said the family was too traumatized to think about removing the video from Facebook.

“We didn’t think about removing the video because all we wanted to do at the time was find them [the father and baby] first,” Suksan Buachanit, 29, said.

The Thai digital ministry said it would review how it handles similar cases in the future.

“We will take this as a lesson and come up with a solution ... but this is not something we can do immediately,” ministry spokesman Somsak Khaosuwan said.

Police said the killing was the first in Thailand known to have been broadcast on Facebook.

They said the crime was driven by jealousy because Wuttisan was afraid his wife would leave him for another man.

The Thai Ministry of Public Health said it records on average one to two suicide videos a month that are posted to social media, including YouTube and Facebook.

Thailand has a technology crime suppression police division which handles inappropriate content and computer crimes that are insulting to the monarchy.

The country’s strict lese-majeste law makes it a crime to defame, insult or threaten the king, queen, heir to the throne or regent. Each offense is punishable with a jail term of up to 15 years.

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