FACEBOOK has sent a sickening video showing a newborn baby being tossed around by the head and dunked into water to law enforcement authorities after being slammed for keeping it on the site.
The social networking site today said it will remove versions of the disturbing video if it is being shared by vile people who are encouraging or supporting it despite originally claiming it had not breached any guidelines.
In a statement, Facebook said: "Like others, we find the behaviour in this video upsetting and disturbing. In cases like these, we face a difficult choice: balancing people's desire to raise awareness of behavior like this against the disturbing nature of the video.
"In this case, we are removing any reported instances of the video from Facebook that are shared supporting or encouraging this behaviour.
"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."
Earlier the head of children's charity NSPCC slammed Facebook for allowing the video to remain on the site and has written to the government to raise his concerns.
In his letter to minister for internet safety and security Joanna Shields and culture minister Ed Vaizey, Peter Wanless wrote: "We are obviously extremely concerned for the welfare of the infant and are urging Facebook to offer every co-operation with the authorities to try and track down this callous individual and protect the baby.
"While the welfare of this child is naturally paramount, we would also urge you to look at all available options which will ensure UK citizens, including millions of children, are no longer exposed to this kind of dreadful and disturbing content."
The two-minute clip shows a woman abusing the screaming child as she swings it around by its limbs as well as shaking the baby while clutching its head.
The child eventually falls silent – fuelling fears it may have even died as a result of the horrifying mistreatment.
Unbelievably Facebook reviewed the clip and ruled it does not violate its standards policy.
In response to the NSPCC letter, Simon Milner, director of policy at Facebook, said: "Our judgment is that when this issue is being shared to draw attention to it and condemn what is happening and ideally to try and help this child, then yes, there is a place for it on Facebook.
"If it was being shared to praise it or to make fun of it, absolutely not and we will take it down," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Gabrielle Shaw, CEO for the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said: "It is actually staggering that it does not breach the terms of Facebook.
"We are of course aware of free speech but surely this is an image of shocking abuse and we would look to Facebook to at the very least take this down and investigate."
The clip was posted online in the last week and is believed to have originated in Indonesia.
It shows the baby being suspended in a bucket of water in a kitchen by a woman - whose face can't be seen - while they are being filmed by another person.
Initially the baby screams loudly as it is hung by its arms, with the adult sharply pulling its little arms out of joint. Then the abuser pulls the baby's arms even higher by holding them in one hand, while she swings it round and round, its head repeatedly flopping side to side.
She then hangs it upside down high in the air by its legs, and then swings it by the head by holding its cheeks, before it chillingly stops crying.
The baby appears to go floppy but she continues to swing it around in the water as she twists its little limbs.
It was reported to Facebook on Wednesday - once on the grounds of promoting graphic violence and then for nudity.