Dangling Children– An Algerian man has been jailed for dangling a child from the window. And for what? Facebook likes.
Ours is the age of social media validation. Psychologists have warned against the dangers of Facebook narcissism and the craze for likes.
According to reports, the man put up a picture where he held out a baby over the window of a high-rise building with the caption:
“1,000 likes or I will drop him.”
What was hoped to generate likes for the Algerian Facebook user turned to be a unanimous call for his arrest.
On Sunday the man who was discovered to be the baby’s relative was caught and arrested for endangering the life of the boy. He was charged with child abuse. Report says the baby was visibly terrified. He was dangling out of the 15th-floor window of a multi-storey building in Algiers.
The guilty unnamed Algerian denied any attempt of harming the child. He claimed that the picture was doctored by Facebook users to back up their demand for his arrest. He said the boy was protected by the protective balcony bars which FB users purportedly removed from the image.
His claims were not convincing enough for the court. Consequently, he was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for his reckless act.
Algerians have given their massive thumbs up to the government for their response and judgement.
The Dangling Children trend was perhaps popularised by the late King of Pop. In 2002, Michael Jackson was widely criticised for dangling his nine-month-old son, Blanket, over his hotel balcony in Berlin.
Michael Jackson later issued an apology. In his statement, he said the incident was a “terrible mistake.”
“I offer no excuses for what happened,”
“I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children.”
He was in Berlin to receive an award for his philanthropic efforts towards children.
Prevent Child Abuse America’s Kevin Kirkpatrick reacted thus:
“Considering Mr. Jackson started a charity to protect children, this was alarmingly irresponsible behavior with a child,”
“Holding a child like that with what appeared to be one arm while leaning over a fourth-floor balcony window is pretty careless to say the least.”
2 years ago, a woman recreated the 2002 Michael Jackson incident. This time the law got involved.
According to the woman, she was reacting to the pop star’s song which was playing. She held the baby out of the window, screaming “Wacko Jacko”.
Pleading for leniency at the court she said:
“I’ve been stupid for dangling the child out of the window – I was having a Michael Jackson moment.”
The woman, from Hull, East Yorkshire was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison; and a 30-day rehabilitation programme under the supervision of the probation service.