An Algerian man has been sentenced to two years in prison for dangling a baby from a window on the fifteenth floor of an apartment block in order to get Facebook “likes”.
The man posted the disturbing photo of him holding the seemingly frightened baby out of the window in a high-rise building in Algeria’s capital city Algiers with the caption: “1,000 likes or I will drop him”, according to the BBC.
The picture sparked public uproar on social media, prompting Algerian authorities to arrest the suspect and charge him with endangering the safety of the child on Sunday.
Reacting to the image of Facebook, Chris de Jager wrote:
“My God…people…what has gone wrong with us? What have we become??? I can see that baby slip through that shirt…never mind the trauma experienced…”
‘Just a Game’
In his defense, the suspect, who is a relative of the child, denied endangering the life of the minor, arguing that the picture had been altered by social media users.
The child’s biological father also pleaded with the court to pardon the suspect, saying he was only playing a game.
“The picture was taken in a balcony with protective barriers. These were removed [from the image],” the suspect claimed.
However, the court found him guilty, insisting that the image was clear and the baby’s life was in danger.
Many Algerians, who were angered by the act, praised the authorities for arresting and sentencing the suspect.
“What I find interesting is that the father said that he was just playing. You mean to tell me that it was ok for someone to take my child and hang them out a window for play? Really so [what] does that say about the father as well as the mother?” Syvillia Thompson also wrote on Facebook.
Some people even called on the prosecutor to add attempted murder to the charges. Others said the incident was a clear manifestation of the extent to which some people are willing to go just to attract attention on social media.
Lately, there have been numerous cases of people going to the extremes just to attract more followers on social media. Some are even posting outrageous images, including nudes, hoping to get more likes.