Call it madness or call it stupidity. The digital revolution seems to have made some people lose their senses. Professor Stephen Hawking was right when he said stupidity is one of the vices that will end the human race earlier than expected.
A court in the North African country of Algeria has sentenced a man to two years in jail after he was found guilty of dangling his own baby from a 15th-floor apartment window in order to attract attention on Facebook.
The man, who was not named due to the sensitive nature of the case, is said to reside in the capital, Algiers. According to court documents, the man lives in the 15-floor apartment block, and deliberately put the life of the baby in danger for mere social media attention.
Prosecutors explained in court that after dangling the baby from the window, the man took a selfie of the act. He later posted a video of himself holding the baby out of a window of the high-rise building with the caption: “1,000 likes or I will drop him.” Those who saw the appalling video say the baby appeared to be in a state of fear and shock, but the man kept him hanging for some time before pulling him back.
Instead of the likes he wanted, many people expressed outrage of his action. People started demanding for his immediate arrest and prosecution. Many people shared his senseless act on other social media platforms, prompting security officials to respond.
On Sunday June 19, the man was arrested by police and put before the court. The court, after hearing what he did, never wasted time, throwing him behind bars for two years, convicting him on Monday, June 20.
Many social media users have welcomed the court’s verdict. Local media reports say some even suggested the man should have been given more than two years in jail to serve as a deterrent to others.
People taking dangerous selfies to gain attention on social media have become a common trend across the world. The Washington Post reported in January 2016 that about half of at least 27 selfie deaths in 2015 had occurred in India. No official data on the number of people who died taking selfies in India exists, but reports show that from 2014 up to August 2016, there have been at least 54 deaths in India while taking selfies.