Yet Another Politician Blaming Social Networks For Youth Violence

from the proof,-please? dept

A California state politician is pushing a totally useless “non-binding resolution” that would ask social networking sites to immediately takedown any “violent or explicit” videos that appear on their sites. How those sites would automatically know that the content is violent or explicit (or what is considered “acceptable” is unclear). Even better, the resolution would call on California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to create a task force to “address the proliferation of violence on the Internet.” Would that include “violence” such as that found in Schwarzenegger’s movies, many of which can be found online? This whole thing seems like a witch hunt based on the faulty premise that somehow watching a violent clip on a website will somehow make the viewer violent, when actual research seems to suggest the opposite.

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Comments on “Yet Another Politician Blaming Social Networks For Youth Violence”

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Rajio (user link) says:


This whole thing seems like a witch hunt based on the faulty premise that somehow watching a violent clip on a website will somehow make the viewer violent, when actual research seems to suggest the opposite.

I think it may be based on the (equally faulty) premise that posting and gathering ‘fame’ from a popular sensational video is the motivation behind the creation of many sensational videos. violence is sensational. therefore violent videos are produced and posted online in an attempt to get that brand of fame. if the videos aren’t allowed to be distributed/viwed then they may not be produced, thus stopping the violence (or at least the violence commited purely for the sake of video popularity fame) … not that i agree with this, but i suspect thats the premise at play here, rather than the one where watching videos makes you violent.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: premise

I agree, but that raises its own set of questions (with equally straightforward answers): what kind of person would get their validation in this way? Dumb, stupid teenagers, mainly boys from lower-class neighbourhoods with little else to do.

Those people have existed for a long time, and will continue to exist no matter how many restrictions are placed on their online activities. In fact, restrictions would encourage them even more, with rules being like a red rag to a bull with those kinds of kids anyway…

It’s also funny how there’s talk of restricting online videos, yet any kid can buy Jackass on DVD if they want.

CyberSnake says:


Why don’t we put the blame where it belongs? It starts and ends with the parents. Quit trying to blame everyone else for the issues with raising our children. Start raising your own children and stop expecting everyone else to. Then there would not be any issues. Give them the tools and education to make good decisions. Make sure they see that there are consequences for there actions no matter what that action is (good or bad). Kids aren’t doing things because they see it on the net or TV. Kids are doing things cause there parents have let them get away with so much or just not taught them good solid principles in the first place. I don’t allow my daughter on certain web sites and only allow her to go to certain web sites. I don’t allow my daughter to watch certain TV channels and only allow her to watch certain TV channels. When she has finally the ability to judge for her self then she can decide what to watch and what not to. Families need to start taking responsibility for there families. Mom’s and dad’s need to learn to pay attention to there children and not let them do what ever they feel they want. Seems parents are afraid to tell there kids no now days. Get them use to it now since the rest of the world is going to be telling them no anyway. (can I have a raise “No”…can I take you out some time “No”…can I drive 100 mph “No”…etc..etc)

Rose M. Welch says:

Re: Blame

Generalization much?

Most of the parents I know do exactly that. The ones that don’t could give a shit about protecting thier children. Those ‘protect the children’ measures are aimed at get politicos good press from people who are grandparents, not parents. A huge bloc of our voters are older people who don’t always grasp television, video games, and the Internet as well as thier younger counterparts, and they like to see things that ‘protect’ children from these menaces. Hence all of the ‘protect the children’ measures.

Oh yeah, plus there are a ton of religious extremists who think that anything that’s violent or sexual should be illegal because it’s morally ‘wrong’, even if it hurts no one physically. And by religious extremists, I mean anyone who makes political decisions based on religion instead of the Constitution…

Anonymous of Course says:

Re: Re: Blame

It’s not a division by age.

Just yell at the uncouth spawn of any nesting
soccer mom and watch her transform into Medusa.
While old people know that the best way for an
adult to protect a child is with the liberal
application of the back of their hand.

A grasp of technology has nothing to do with it.
Protecting the children is an apple pie and motherhood
argument. Few people will speak against it even if
it’s invoked without cause.

Rose M. Welch says:

Re: Re: Re: Blame

Most of those soccer moms think everything is the fault of that devilish influence called freedom… They would love to ban the Internet (except where they want to use it), ban social networking, ban violent video games and movies, etc… To protect the children. I would call a person like that a religious extremist.

So, essentially, you and I are in agreement, except that I think a good grasp on technology matters. Someone who had both a good grasp on technology and the desite to band things ‘for the children’ would know that most of these ‘protection’ measures are useless and support other measures instead.

Austin says:


This sounds so stupid, but if they made it mandatory they would be slammed by a lawsuit questioning hoe constitutionally sound it is. Violent media doesn’t make people violent unless they watch it every day for hours a day and don’t go out in public and build up a reality based on the media. I’m tired of politicians saying that I’m at rick of being a rapist or murderer because of how much violent media I’m exposed too, well guess what politicians, the people who admit to it are just trying to blame someone else and you can’t say that a video will make me more violent than if I was raised in a ghetto (around here we call it North and East St. Louis) where I was around gang violence all the time. Tax money shouldn’t be spent on stupid useless legislation that could never legally be enforced when they could be drafting a profound legislation that could make it easier to stop and prevent gang violence, especially in California.
At Rajio, the basis is somewhat good, but with no way to enforce it this bill should have been forgotten after the idea struck. (user link) says:

I got a great idea… Let’s hold people accountable for their own actions. You decide to shoot someone, you go to jail. You beat someone up, you go to jail. None of this… “Video games made me do it” bullshit. I have seen hundreds of violent movies, played hundreds of violent games and read hundreds of violent books… and guess what, I don’t have any violent outbursts. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to occasionally, but I control my anger and my actions. That is what separates us from animals. The ability to choose our actions and make desicions. I decide to not hurt others, so I don’t think it is too much to ask others to do the same. If they do, put them in jail, not displace the blame.

Anonymous Coward says:

Girls are what made me get in fights as a teen

correct me if I’m wrong but it would seem most female fights have something to do with a boy. Basically, most teenage violence is probably due to raging hormones and sexual tension. I bet two things this politician doesn’t have anymore or has forgotten what it was like.

I’m 40 but I still remember being 17 and just wanting to hit something just for the sake of hitting something, and the dude making a pass at my girl was a perfect excuse to for fill that erg…

Hank (user link) says:



Let’s all go back to living in caves without technology and having to hunt for our food……….DAMN IT, HUNTING IS VIOLENT TOO!!



Or perhaps all the commie-hippie-libs out there can get a grip and realize that their misguided efforts to save their fellow man is slowly killing our society.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: ummmmm......

You had me until “commie-hippie-libs”. In my experience, it’s the so-called “conservatives” – especially “religious” ones – who are the ones attacking media and entertainment in this way. It’s not the so-called-liberal “that person might be offended” PC bull that’s to blame here. It’s the so-called-conservative “I don’t understand it and I’m afraid” attitude.

John Wilson (profile) says:

Re: Re: ummmmm......

Actually it’s you who don’t understand what wonderful people politicians of all stripes are who work soooooooooo hard to reduce things to simplicity in order to protect the defenseless of our society. Or at least the easily led.

Say TV, radio and newspaper reporters (journalists is a word I refuse to use in connection with that lot) who’ll glady print any old tripe a long as there’s something that will fit in a 20 second sound bite or can be fitted next to a blood curdling , full colour photograph on the front page. 🙂



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