Father of boy saved by Paris ‘Spiderman’ convicted of negligence

A screengrab from footage of the incident shows the boy hanging over the edge of the balcony as Gassama ascends. (Twitter)
Updated 25 September 2018
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Father of boy saved by Paris ‘Spiderman’ convicted of negligence

  • Mamoudou Gassama was propelled to global stardom in May after footage of him scaling the facade of the apartment building with his bare hands to save the child went viral
  • The 37-year-old father found himself in hot water for leaving the child unattended in their sixth-floor apartment while he went shopping

PARIS: The father of the little boy who was rescued dangling from a fourth-story Paris balcony by a Malian migrant dubbed Spiderman received a three-month suspended jail sentence Tuesday for leaving the child home alone.
Mamoudou Gassama was propelled to global stardom in May after footage of him scaling the facade of the apartment building with his bare hands to save the child went viral.
Gassama, who was living illegally in France at the time, was rewarded with French citizenship and a job in the fire service.
But the 37-year-old father found himself in hot water for leaving the child unattended in their sixth-floor apartment while he went shopping — the boy was just four at the time.
Apart from the suspended sentence he was also ordered to take a parenting course.
The public prosecutor had asked for the father to be given a six-month suspended sentence, noting that had Gassama not sprung into action the child “might now be dead.”
The father told the court that after spending the day at the Disneyland theme park near Paris with his son on May 26, he decided to pop out for some provisions, leaving his son in front of the TV at his insistence.
Expressing remorse he said he had not realized that by leaving the sliding door to the balcony open the child was in grave danger.
He also admitted to being gone longer than he thought — around an hour — because he was playing the popular Pokemon Go game on his phone.
The child told the police he thought his father had gone back to Disneyland without him and decided to follow him.
Finding the apartment door locked he climbed over the balcony and then appears to have fallen, before miraculously managing to grab the rail of a balcony on the fourth floor.
Footage of the incident, filmed by a bystander, shows him dangling in mid-air with a neighbor on the adjoining balcony desperately trying to hold onto him.
Gassama, 22, then scales the building Spiderman-style and pulls him to safety.
Under France’s penal code parental negligence carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a fine of up to 30,000 euros ($35,300).
The boy’s mother was on a visit to her native Reunion island, a French territory in the Indian Ocean, at the time.
Both parents were said at the time to be extremely shaken by the incident but hugely grateful to Gassama.


India court reverses TikTok app restrictions

Updated 12 min 17 sec ago
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India court reverses TikTok app restrictions

  • It is already banned in neighboring Bangladesh and was hit with an enormous fine in the US
  • The case against TikTok was launched by an activist group that said the app encouraged paedophiles and pornography

NEW DELHI: An Indian court has reversed a decision that ordered Google and Apple to take down Chinese-owned video app TikTok over the spread of pornographic material, local media said.
The controversial but wildly popular app allows users to upload and share short 15 second clips from their phones and claims to have 500 million users worldwide — more than 120 million of them in India.
It is already banned in neighboring Bangladesh and was hit with an enormous fine in the United States for illegally collecting information from children.
The Wednesday ruling by the Madras High Court in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state requires the popular platform to prevent “obscene videos” from being posted.
“(The court) warned if any controversial video violating its conditions were found uploaded using the app, it would be considered a contempt of court,” a report by the Press Trust of India agency said.
On April 16, India’s government demanded Google and Apple remove the service from its app stores, though the order did not stop those who had already downloaded the app from using it.
The case against TikTok was launched by an activist group that said the app encouraged paedophiles and pornography.
India’s government told the court on Wednesday that they had formed a committee to suggest ways to regulate apps like TikTok, PTI said.
TikTok told the court that they had removed around six million controversial videos from the platform since the order was announced banning new downloads last week.
The app hit the headlines in India earlier in April after a 19-year-old man was accidentally shot dead by a friend in Delhi as they posed with a pistol to make a video on the platform.
TikTok has become a major rival to Facebook, Instagram and other social network sites among teenaged smartphone users in the past year.
Bangladesh banned TikTok in February as part of a clampdown on Internet pornography.
The same month, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said a $5.7 million fine ordered against the company was the largest imposed in a child privacy investigation.
The social network failed to obtain parental consent from underage users as required by the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, FTC officials said.