March 31, 2023
BEIJING – A seven-year-old Chinese girl’s actions have brought fresh scrutiny on the effect that violent images on television have on children after she was caught on camera throwing a little boy down a well.
In a video captured by surveillance cameras making its rounds on social media, the girl is seen carrying a boy who is smaller in stature than she is and dropping him into a well in a village in Yunnan’s Songming county.
Although the boy clings on for dear life, the girl prises his fingers off the edge of the well, causing him to plunge into the well, which is around 5m deep.
The girl appears unmoved by his distress and cries for help – she stands by the well momentarily before leaving.
Other villagers eventually rescued the boy after apparently hearing his cries for help.
According to Chinese media last Wednesday, the village authorities confirmed the incident occurred at around 4pm on March 4 and that the four-year-old boy, surnamed Yang, had been rescued.
Apart from catching a cold, the boy did not suffer any major injuries or illnesses.
The Songming county police were reported to have said that the water in the well was around 2m deep and that the boy fell around 2.65m before hitting the surface of the water.
The two children were neighbours and had frequently played together before the incident, the authorities said, adding that the families of the children had agreed on a settlement involving thousands of yuan and some food.
The girl, surnamed Wang, claimed she had been imitating a plot she had seen in a TV show, a village official said.
Clips of the incident on Douyin have been viewed more than 10 million times by users on the Chinese video-sharing platform, with some commenting on the girl’s “wolf-like nature” for not caring about the boy or calling her “bad to the bone”.
A child psychologist told The Beijing Times that the girl’s actions can be seen as aggressive and that the lack of family care and exposure to violent images can have a great impact on children.
The expert from Beijing’s Anding Hospital added that the girl’s ability to empathise and her moral development are likely undeveloped, and discouraged netizens from judging her based on the incident.