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Violent Viral Videos Are Increasing

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YouTube is a social site with some of the most interesting videos that can cause you to procrastinate on your college studies. However, YouTube can now lead to evidence in a police investigation.

After an accomplice posted a video on YouTube showing a young Asian-American male being beaten and robbed in Bridgeport, Ill., it was reported on Jan. 17 that detectives at the Chicago Police Department would use the video in an investigation.

The video has been removed from the original user’s account, but numerous other third parties have uploaded the video to various websites and blogs. News channels, such as ABC News, have also obtained the video and aired it to the public.

It isn’t new that people are being robbed or beaten in the world we live in. What is odd is that people videotape such incidents.

Chicago is not only known for its beautiful scenery but also for its numerous gangs. Movies have been made either about or alluding to the life of 1920s gangster, Al Capone. Even rapper Rick Ross wrote a song that honored one of Chicago’s famous gang leaders, Larry Hoover. Despite this often-seen image of the Chicago gangster, true gang members are often secretive of their organizations. They don’t leave evidence of the crimes they have committed.

It is true that times have changed. Cell phone cameras, flip cameras and YouTube videos didn’t exist back then. Nonetheless, a crime is a crime and the obvious consequence is jail time.

Since when did it become “humorous” to videotape beating someone? It has seemed to become a sport in our generation. In the video, the boys continually laughed while beating the young man and calling him obscene names.

This video is just one example of how some people in our society have really taken to “the bystander-effect” instead of being a decent citizen and helping someone who is in danger.

If you don’t know what the “bystander effect” is, it’s the term researchers Bibb Latane and John Darley coined during a study that the amount of time it takes the participant to take action and seek help varies depending on how many other observers are in the room.

Basically, the more people that are present when danger occurs, the less likely people are to help a person in distress. When an emergency situation occurs, observers are more likely to take action if there are few or no other witnesses.

The video of the beating of Derrion Albert back in 2009 is a prime example of a teen who instead of calling the police or going to get a school official, pulled out their camera phone and recorded the fight.

I don’t know what we could do as a society to stop such videos. YouTube has become an addiction to our generation. People enjoy posting videos to see how many views and comments they can get, but posting videos of violence should never be acceptable.

I think YouTube should develop a policy with the police so that people who post violent footage would be fined. Then again, this policy may never go into effect due to the First Amendment.

So next time you go on YouTube and share these videos with your friends, think am I just being a bystander?

– Sharmon Jarmon, Staff Writer