Police are investigating teenage parents who broadcast disturbing “discipline” measures taken against their toddler on Snapchat. A series of videos posted over the weekend showed the Melbourne duo waterboarding their young child and putting a bag over his face. They disguised their faces with emojis in order to avoid being identified, but police were quickly able to trace their location.
"We’re not child abusing them, we’re just teaching them discipline," the toddler’s father said in one video. "Making sure that they’re not dead, but then they can’t breathe."
The child can be heard crying as his parents laugh in the background of the videos. In footage of them running water over their toddler’s face, the accompanying caption reads "he is dying tonight for sure". Another video was captioned “I can’t believe he is steal [sic] alive”.
In response to criticism, the teenagers released a final video defending their parenting skills. "If I want to slap my child I’ll slap him as much as I want, if he needs some discipline I’ll continue to slap him," the father says in the video. His face is obscured by a smiley emoji.
After numerous Snapchat users reported the parents, police were able to trace and locate them in the northern Melbourne suburb of Preston. According to a media statement from Victorian Police, the toddler was found safe and well. His parents are both being investigated by authorities.
Last year Snapchat introduced new measures designed to make it easier for users to report incidences of abuse. Users are able to report stories that don’t follow community guidelines by pressing and holding the snap, and issuing an alert. In January, a Canadian teen made headlines after being arrested posting a video of her torturing a domestic animal. Earlier this month a Californian teen met a similar fate.
This article originally appeared on VICE AU.