I love YouTube. We recently had to bump out a dent in our plastic bumper. My husband got on YouTube, and suddenly I found myself outside holding two hairdryers on the bumper while my husband maneuvered a 2×4 behind the dent. Suddenly the bumper popped out and looked almost as good as new.
And the animal videos. And the funny videos. There’s a lot of good stuff there.
But there’s also a lot of bad stuff. Like fight videos. If I were YouTube, I would not be comfortable knowing people pick sometimes random fights just so they can take a video and upload it on YouTube. YouTube is actually encouraging this behavior by allowing these videos to be placed on the site.
Of course, how idiotic to post video of yourself beating someone. I know about someone who did that. The other girl went to the police, the police downloaded the video, the girl giving the beating went to jail. Kids, you’re providing evidence.
Video of the grandma being bullied on a school bus (man, if they bully grandmas, what do you think they do to other kids?) was apparently on YouTube. The video shows these little sh … middle-school students from Greece Central School District in New York (how embarrassed is this town now? lovely thing to be known for worldwide) calling this little old lady, a bus monitor, a fat “troll” and talking about how a knife would go into her fat stomach “like butter” if they stabbed her. They said they thought her family members should kill themselves because she was so ugly, not realizing (not that they’d care) that this 68-year-old widow’s son had committed suicide.
The father of one of the kids has apparently released a statement that he is heartbroken at hearing his son was involved in something like this. Good for him. So many parents try to excuse their little bullies’ behavior. (Remember the Casey video from Australia? Casey was bullied mercilessly — the bully had his friends tape it so he could put it on YouTube — until Casey picked up his bully and body-slammed him. The bully’s mom demanded an apology. The bully’s friends? They uploaded the body-slam. I guess bullies don’t really have friends.) Though when you have your kid’s voice on video saying those things to a grandma on the national news, I guess even the most limp-spined parent can’t argue. I wonder what you do when you realize your kid is capable of that? Take him to a shrink? And I wonder how many times they have refused to believe their little darlings were bullying other kids. This can’t have been these kids’ first offense. Surely you don’t start off bullying grandmas to tears and then mocking the fact that they’re crying.
I wonder how it affected other kids when they watched this bullying. A lot of the kids on that bus were probably as horrified and disgusted as the rest of us. Should they stop it? Should they stand up for her? Would they be bullied if they did? Their silence probably eats at them, but how can you blame them? It’s like watching a lion eat a gazelle and yelling, “Hey, lion. Over here!” But I’ll bet it damaged a lot of scared kids who stayed silent and hate themselves for it.
The video had 1.5 million hits, and I hope the majority thought these kids were the disgusting little pigs they are, but I wonder how many rotten kids out there thought it was funny. And I wonder why YouTube allows fight and bullying videos to be uploaded at all. This culture kids have developed of being horrible and violent and taping it for the edification of other horrible and violent people disgusts me.
I think YouTube should stop encouraging it. It’s kind of a situation like, “If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, is there a sound?” If a fight happens and there’s nowhere to post the video, would the fight have occured? Maybe this crap would stop if there was no one to see it.
Update: My daughter has informed me that YouTube does ban fight videos and takes them down when people complain. She says the volume of fight videos makes it difficult. That’s good to know, but there has to be more they can do. What they’re doing just isn’t enough.