Facebook Live is a great service for streaming things as they happen, but maybe shouldn’t have been used to broadcast the live birth of a baby.
Besides the actual video streaming, Kali Kanongata’a of California is being criticized for live streaming the birth of his baby boy on Facebook without the knowledge of his partner, Sarah Dome.
Defending his actions, Kanongata’a said there is nothing to hide about having a baby and that it is a blessing, adding that just to be able to share it with people is an amazing thing.
Kanongata’a told CBC News he wanted their baby to remember it, saying, “It’s something for him to remember when he grows up.”
Dome knew Kanongata’a was making a video, but had no idea he was broadcasting the birth live. However, once she found out, she said it was “so cool,” saying, “It is a beautiful thing, nothing to be ashamed of. And it [the video] didn’t show too much so I’m OK.”
Dome added that she is really shocked that so many people have viewed the video on Facebook Live – 240,668 at the time of writing – saying, “My baby’s a star.”
The world has now viewed the live birth of this baby. How far are you willing to go with social media in… https://t.co/SVRGfWZUMv
— KidCo (@KidCo) May 17, 2016
While the mother and father are happy about the video being out there on Facebook, others have criticized the move.
In an article for Esquire, journalist Renata Sellitti commented, “It’s fair to say we’ve officially hit max web oversharing mode and should slowly back away from the ledge… It’s still crossing the line to show footage of her knees up around her head to the Facebook world at large.”
Social media users also criticized the move:
A woman gave birth on Facebook Live today so this is probably a good time for us to all save ourselves and quit the internet.
— Lauren Alexis Fisher (@laurenalexis) May 16, 2016
Someone gave birth live on Facebook today and other reasons I want to delete Facebook.
— Carly (@nuclearcarly) May 17, 2016
However, according to the dad, he had no idea the video was public. Kanongata’a told People he thought when he was broadcasting the video on Facebook Live it was just going to his family and friends.
However, once he did realize the video was public, he considered stopping it “for a second,” but instead decided to keep on filming, saying he thought something positive among the negative stuff on Facebook would be good.
“There’s a lot of negative stuff on Facebook and so I thought this would be positive.”
Kanongata’a continued by explaining that he is from the Polynesian island of Tonga, where public births have been the thing to do for thousands of years, but he did stress it was supposed to be private and that he didn’t understand the privacy settings on Facebook Live.
As the proud father pointed out, the video isn’t graphic and has been taken from an angle where the most personal view would not have been seen.
Kanongata’a filmed for 45 minutes inside the delivery room at the Mercy San Juan Medical Center, all the while narrating his partner Sarah Dome’s contractions and pushes with his own commentary.
He says at one point, “Come on, pop out son! What are you doing in there?”
The nurses and doctors can also be heard throughout the video, chatting, comforting Dome, and telling her to relax, push and take deep breaths.
According to Kanongata’a, he wanted Dome to have a natural birth and to be involved in the delivery.
“There is nothing to hide about having a kid, it’s a blessing and just to share it with people, I think it’s just an amazing thing.”
Reportedly the couple has given their baby boy a Tongan name – Ngangatulelei HeKelesi – which Kanongata’a says translates roughly to “sweet aroma by grace.”
While many social media users objected to the video, many supported the parents in the birth of their new baby. Ofa Fatafehi commented on the video, “Man she is strong!” while Lini N Neyo Pome’e said: “You can do it, push!”
The video was posted to the Polynesian Non-Profit Facebook page, Fakamalo Kihe Eiki and is included below:
[Image via Facebook]