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Facebook slammed by NSPCC over 'disturbing' crying baby video

Facebook has been criticised by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) over a "disturbing" video that showed a "terrified, sobbing baby" being dunked repeatedly in a bucket of water.

The charity's chief executive Peter Wanless today (5 June) sent a letter to the government and Facebook that urges social media to take online safety more seriously.

According to NSPCC Facebook said the video does not breach its policies.

In the letter to culture minister Ed Vaizey and internet safety minister Joanna Shields, Wanless calls for the government to create a new organisation "armed with the legal powers to ensure internet companies are transparent and accountable".

Wanless added: "It is now time for the light to be shone on the responsibilities of social media companies, an area where progress has been extremely slow. As you know, the government convened a meeting of the social media companies to look at these issues in February 2014 but there has been no substantial progress since then. We have just re-elected a new government and now is the time for a renewed mandate and focus."

Facebook acknowledged that the video was "upsetting and disturbing", but said its users should still be able to watch it, the BBC reported.

Facebook's UK policy director Simon Milner told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that by drawing attention to a distressing situation, the website has "seen from experience that it can and does lead to the rescue of the child".

The social media site has since added a warning message to the video following the NSPCC complaint.