Blaming YouTube For Kids Blowing Stuff Up?

from the it-ain't-youtube's-fault dept

People seem to have this weird fascination with blaming YouTube for the stuff people do on YouTube. The latest is in an article that discusses the fact that adolescent males tend to be fans of blowing stuff up — with a fair number of them filming the activity and putting it on YouTube. The article suggests that the convergence of a few different technology developments are at play here: the internet has made it much easier to get instructions on how to blow stuff up in a big way, many more people have access to cameras with which to create a video record of the explosions and YouTube makes it easy to put those videos online and gain a worldwide audience. The fact that adolescent boys have long had a fascination with blowing stuff up isn’t disputed, of course. That’s pretty much remained constant. Yet, the article seems to brush over the fact that these YouTube videos also make it incredibly easy for police to track down and catch the folks who post such videos. Yet, there’s always someone who still thinks it’s at least partially YouTube’s fault. In this case, it’s someone who runs a non-profit focused on kids’ online safety, claiming that “YouTube and other sites have not taken responsibility for allowing such videos to be posted.” That might be because it’s not YouTube’s responsibility. It’s just a hosting platform. Does the person who said that blame the telephone company for the fact that telephones are used to commit crimes these days? Meanwhile, just because you’re blowing stuff up, it doesn’t mean it can’t be educational.

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Comments on “Blaming YouTube For Kids Blowing Stuff Up?”

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Old_Eng_Hand says:

on kids blowing stuff up and publicity

Boys have always been interested in blowing stuff up. I think my daughter would love to have the opportunity as well. I know my son would love to. I certainly played with high energy chemistry in junior high through high school (unfortunately, my rockets tended to go boom far more than zoom). Also catapults, mortars, etc. At the time, I figured that as long as nobody got hurt and nobody’s property was damaged, the police weren’t going to look too hard about boom’s in unpopulated areas. As the population has grown more urbanized, they have gotten less tolerant of this activity. I had a co-worker (a farm boy) whose family celebrated the 4th of July with 2 cases of dynamite.

Taking video’s of your experiments and posting them is something else again. If you are going to do that, you deserve what you get. But YouTube, or equivalent media port is not responsible for the kid’s action. The fact that some kids may try to emulate or surpass some other action is irrelevant.

Iron Chef says:

Re: on kids blowing stuff up and publicity

I find some of this stuff incredibly entertaining. Especially those WillItBlend Episodes, and the creativity that came from the Mentos experiments were real fun for a while.

I write this as I sip a blended coffee drink I made with my Blendtec blender. While I won’t go so far as to blend my ipod or a video camera, it’s comforting to know some folks still have a sense of humour.

Rose M. Welch says:

Whatever happened to blaming the library for kids knowing how to blow things up? That was the last villian, and they tried to censor them also.

If you don’t like it when kids blow things up, then prosecute the parents for neglect after it happens. It will make the news in a big way, and a dozen shitty parents will taken notice.

Problem as close to solved as it ever will be.

Pyromaniac says:

Let's burn the books also

Many pounds of home made gunpowder expended as a teenager. No Internet back then, I had to get the knowledge from books.

I know! Let’s ban all the books with the formula for gunpowder!!

Oh, wait, Ray Bradbury wrote a story about that once. Fahrenheit 451 or something?

How about we point the “xyz must control ____” people to one consistent set of principles? May a combination of the Constitution (if they are US based) and Bradbury’s work?

Of course, that would require reading… and, since all knowledge is bad…

Ajax 4Hire (profile) says:

While you are playing the blame game...

blame news for showing the military blowing stuff up;
blame Movie Studios for showing cars blowing up;
blame Radio for corrupting the minds of innocent youth;

It sure is NOT the kids fault.

Oh and don’t forget the blame the parents.
and society, the president, schools, fluoride water, CocoSugarBomb cereal.

It sure cannot be the kids fault.

Anonymous Coward says:

When I was growing up it was Dungeon and Dragons that was corrupting kids, then next decade it was MTV, and so on. Everyone looks for a scapegoat to blame for their own mistakes. I have three boys and they all have the see-if-breaks/splats/explodes gene. You, the parent, have to be on constant guard against adolescent stupidity. It is your job.

Ray Trygstad (profile) says:

Kids blowing things up? We were doing that in the

I had LOTS of friends who blew MANY things up in the late 60’s/early 70’s with no YouTube at all for inspiration. They even manufactured their own nitroglycerin, a pretty tricky process. A couple of them spent one summer afternoon blowing up granite boulders in a lot right across the road from the local San Diego County Sheriff’s substation. The deputies did come over to check on them, but since they they were properly attired in coveralls and hard hats they just let them continue; you think they might have noticed that THEY WERE ONLY 15 YEARS OLD. One guy even was caught (before detonation) with the entire footbridge leading to the back gate of our junior high all wired up and ready to blow. Nobody ever had any intention of hurting anyone, no revolutionary crap, they just loved to watch things BLOW UP. (And what 15-year-old boy doesn’t?)

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Another one?

I know why this is “news”.

“Anastasia Goodstein, author of Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online”

Another idiot pushing a fear mongering book.

I’ve been blowing crap up for years before the Internet and I still am. I make my own home made fireworks after the PA ban on the good ones. I never once put a video online.

Iron Chef says:

Re: Youtube and parents

If the parents are so outraged by what thier kids are finding on the internet, then they should turn off the internet, and take an active roll in thier kids life.

Hey, did you know it’s Girl Scout Cookie Time again?

You have a point. Keep the kids busy in the “real” world. Get them involved in sports or scouts 4H (yes they are still around) or sport. Of course if you were a good parent, you probably would have known it Girl Scout Cookie Time was coming… A few months ago.

Quick Think Fast– Who bakes the cookies they sell? Answer correctly on TechDirt within 5 minutes and you get a prize!

another dumb teen boy says:


I would blame my school because they gave me a mac book to take home perfect for getting inspration and getting the final product all over the internet. But i woulden’t do that because it would be stupid and consider that the school has loaded this thing with all kinds of monitering programs but i am not sure if they have a key stroke logger on here. But they do say that anything that i put on here is not private at all so thats kinda iteresting i think that this year will be fun. And then if i was to make a bomb i would start with coke and menthos and move up from there. But making ur own glycerin sounds like fun. I have an indian chem teacher she is really cool but no matter what she won’t blow anything up in class. But i think we will ignite some h2 aftet preforming electrolosys on some H2O yes i iz nerdy/geek…


Brian_D says:

I get tired of the blame youtube junk that goes around.

Kids beating up kids, stealing things, blowing things up, etc. all occurred before computers were even thought of. It’s just parents blaming everything on a big company like youtube instead of actually looking at their own parenting or blaming themselves for not watching out for their kids more.

I know parents can’t MAKE their kids act better, but they should look at the crap their kids do and actually realize that most of it has nothing to do with youtube or the internet. They want to blame something besides themselves as the parent or their kids.

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