Does YouTube have a “girl fight” problem?

October 11, 2007

News: In Norwood Middle School, in a suburb in Ohio, a 13-year-old eighth grader beat up a 12-year-old girl in the locker room. The 13-year-old had her friend videotape the beating and it was later posted on YouTube. After much complaining, the victim’s parents and school officials eventually got the video removed from YouTube. But it still exists in a news video posted by a Cincinnati news station.

Video contains violence: viewer discretion advised

Analysis: This is a serious problem. Schools need to investigate why teenagers are engaging in this kind of behavior and develop a “zero tolerance” policy. And YouTube needs to get more involved, too. If you type in “girl fight” on YouTube, there seem to be numerous videos of young girls fighting. (I’m guessing there are videos of guys fighting, too.) I haven’t watched all these fight videos (it’s possible some have already been removed), but here’s one video that is shockingly still up on YouTube. The video was posted a year ago on YouTube and has over 880,000 views. I debated whether even to include the video, but I concluded that it may help to focus attention on what’s really going on.

Video contains violence and profanity: viewer discretion advised

I’m not sure what exactly is the right answer. Obviously, you want to stop these fights from happening. But if you can’t, there is some benefit in having a video — it’s powerful evidence that law enforcement can later use to catch and prosecute the perpetrators.