Monday, March 05, 2012

Laws Against YouTube Youth Violence Needed

Everyone knows that assault is criminal, and that it happens every day. We also know that violence in schools has led to a new phenomena taking form as YouTube fight videos. Children attack one another while a third party records the event, and it gets posted on as a form of entertainment. While we can expect our neighbors to be diligent in the raising of their children we cannot legislate it, and their will always be that certain neighbor's kid who has no parental block on his computer, and is sharing these dreadful videos with other children. We as adults need to step up to the plate and do something that makes a difference so that children cannot continue to share these videos with each other. So who is held accountable and why?

Personally I think Google, which owns YouTube, could be doing a lot more than they have to curb this issue. Their response is that there are too many videos to preview before making them public, however, viewers can file a complaint about the video to alert them that it is inappropriate in some manner. I believe that the measure of their response has been so meager that it approaches criminal accomplice to the delinquency of minors.

I've examined five videos to be sure they are inappropriate according to Google's own standards, and I have reported them to see just how long it takes Google to respond to these complaints and act in accordance with its own policies. Anyone can do this with a simple click of their mouse. To the right of the button marked "Share" underneath the video is the "Flag" option. When you hit this icon the following dialog appears:

Report this video as inappropriate

Please select the category that most closely reflects your concern about the video, so that we can review it and determine whether it violates our Community Guidelines or isn't appropriate for all viewers. Abusing this feature is also a violation of the Community Guidelines, so don't do it.
It will then ask you to select a reason, to which you select "Violent or repulsive content" and a secondary menu appears offering the option "Youth Violence". The last step is to click on "Submit video for review". You'll know you are done when you have a response stating "Thank you for sharing your concerns".

Here are some excerpts defining those policies:

Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don't post it.

Videos involving children (anyone under the age of 18) are particularly sensitive. Videos containing children should never be sexually suggestive or violent. Please be cautious when posting something involving a child. If you’re sharing a private moment or home movie, consider making it a private video so that only your family and friends can see it.

Here are the videos I have chosen as a test of Google's ability to police their own site when complaints have been made. Let the public can see the level of diligence Google has offered for such outrageous videos:

If these links lead you to a video that you can watch then Google has still not removed them. My question to the public is simple; now that you know, what are YOU going to do about it? Here is something to consider doing right now: 

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