A videotaped March 30th attack on a teenage girl has many questioning the role of YouTube and Myspace in the incident and other violent acts posted on the Internet. Six girls, ranging in age from 14 to 17, took part in a 30-min
ute beating of fellow student Victoria Lindsay, 16, after she posted negative comments about them on Myspace.com. Two boys, one of whom is 18, also stood outside of the door, keeping watch and making sure Lindsay did not escape.
The Florida teenagers videotaped the incident with the intent of posting it on YouTube and Myspace as a means of further shaming the victim and, intentionally or not, gaining some notoriety for the incident.
The roles of Myspace and YouTube are under scrutiny by many, as they see the sites as promoting violence, especially among teenagers.
Lindsay’s mom told the Today Show, ““I don't understand how our society has gotten through peer pressure to our kids that's it’s OK to act in violence and then want to post it on MySpace or YouTube or anywhere else, just for entertainment and a laugh."
In fact, many are now calling the incident the “YouTube attack” because of the assailants’ intentions of posting it on the website.
The video-sharing Web site lets users upload almost any video they want, including very violent acts. Those deemed too explicit can only be viewed by users with an account that says they are 18 years old or older, but YouTube’s preventative measures are easily able to be bypassed.
A search for “teenage fighting” yields 3,460 results on YouTube, demonstrating the popularity of violence on the site and the reason behind much criticism.
Still, Web sites cannot be responsible for what people videotape or upload and can only appropriately censor them from an underage audience.
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