Sunday, June 7, 2015

Baby yoga

An incredibly disturbing video of a screaming infant being dunked repeatedly into a bucket of water by an unidentified woman that surfaced on Facebook has outraged viewers who've demanded the social media site remove the two-minute horror film. Despite children's welfare organizations also pleading for the video to be taken down, Facebook offered some pretty strange reasons for allowing it to remain on the site.

While most who view the video come to the conclusion that it's child abuse, others, including Facebook initially, believe it's actually a form of "baby yoga."

Say what? Apparently in some cultures, like Russia, where it originated, this "technique" is thought to improve the mind and physique of babies. (I'm sorry but nothing about this says Namaste to me!)...

Gabrielle Shaw, CEO of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), had this to say:
This video of a screaming baby being violently shaken and manipulated in a tub of water, as a form of ‘baby yoga’, is horrifying.
The fact that Facebook has reviewed it and allowed it to stand, is staggering. It is right to question urgently why Facebook seems to be condoning what is in essence a form of child abuse.
Backpedaling a bit, a Facebook spokesperson says the social media site faces "a difficult choice: Balancing people's desire to raise awareness of behavior like this against the disturbing nature of the video."



  1. The first thing everybody here thought when they saw your baby-swinging video was "[deleted]". Then they thought, is it real or fake? So: Is it real? If so, who is the baby?

    The child was born in the Black Sea region. Her name is Platona, and she was two weeks old when we took that video. We have a lot of children like her here. They are early readers, singers, talkers, swimmers. You haven't seen anything like it anywhere!! And there's swimming with dolphins, scuba diving with them… Come to Dahab!

    Platona has since grown into a normal-looking toddler, and still does "dynamic gymnastics." Lena's own daughters grew up to be comely freediving instructors.

    Lena Fokina doesn't understand why Americans find her childrearing techniques so frightening:

    Did you know that YouTube took the video down because it was in violation of their policy on "shocking and disgusting" content? What is your response to that?

    Did they notice that the babies aren't crying—they're even laughing—and that this system has been used for over thirty years in Russia and the children are all alive and healthy? If you need more proof, the best thing is to come see us.

  2. Initially, when members of the online community expressed outrage over the viral clip and demanded that it be taken down, the social media giant said the video depicted a form of baby yoga and didn’t violate any policies.

    Now, the Menlo Park-based company agrees the treatment of the child depicted in the video is inappropriate and distressing and will pull the video in cases where it promotes or mocks the behavior.

    The video is thought to originate from Indonesia and quickly went viral on Facebook around the world and especially in the UK.

    Simon Milner, director of policy at Facebook UK, shared on the BBC on Friday that a video like this puts the company in a difficult situation where it needs to balance people’s desire to raise awareness of behavior like this against the disturbing nature of the video.


  3. If you have scrolled past this viral Facebook video in your feed, it has probably made you shudder. In what I would call one of the most disturbing videos ever circulated on Facebook, which is saying a lot, we see a tiny baby held by its arms and dunked repeatedly into a bucket of water...

    Facebook hoped to keep the abusive baby dunking video on its site because it raised awareness. Standard Facebook policy dictates that violent or graphic images must be removed when they are "celebrated" by being shared. Facebook chooses to leave up explicit content when it is circulated for the purpose of drawing attention to a problem.

    Facebook continued in their statement to say, "In this case, we are removing any reported instances of the video from Facebook that are shared supporting or encouraging this behavior. In cases where people are raising awareness or condemning the practice, we are marking reported videos as disturbing, which means they have a warning screen and are accessible only to people over the age of 18."

    Just days later, after coming under fire from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a prominent British child protection charity, Facebook finally took down the terrifying video the site originally defended as a "form of baby yoga."...

    As Facebook and Christina Martinez, public affairs director of U.S. nonprofit Childhelp, both argue — keeping the video up could have been beneficial as an "advocacy tool." The argument is: The more people who see the alarming footage, the more likely it is that someone will speak up and identify the woman dunking the baby.

    I can see the argument on both sides, though it's clear Facebook took the easy, cover-your-ass road on this one. For a site that has notoriously censored breastfeeding mothers as soon as the first nip slip is reported, it's hard to believe Facebook truly thinks this abusive video could raise awareness.


  4. A California mom with a passion for dance and a third child on the way has come out swinging at suggestions her high-energy hip hop moves could endanger her unborn baby.

    Christina Litle, a 28-year-old Napa photographer who's been dancing nearly all her life, caused quite a stir when she posted a video in which she showcases her impressive moves while 27 weeks pregnant.

    While discussing the online reaction to her video, Litle told INSIDE EDITION she believes her rump shaking isn't just safe--it's also kept her body strong and better prepared for labor...

    But she danced through her previous pregnancy and acually ended up giving birth a full two weeks late. "My babies stay in there," she joked...

    If she believed her dancing could cause her child any harm, Litle said she would put her dance shoes on the shelf...

    The suggestion that her unborn child could somehow suffer "shaken baby syndrome" seemed to rattle Litle the most.