Shockingly, YouTube NOT Blamed For Teen Web Attack

from the really? dept

Last week, there was plenty of news about a group of eight Florida teenagers who purposely lured another teen into someone's home and then beat her while filming the attack -- which they specifically planned to put on YouTube in an attempt to "get famous." While there have been some attempts to point a finger of blame at YouTube and MySpace, it looks like the press isn't jumping on that bandwagon as quickly as you might expect. Rose M. Welch writes in to point to an Associated Press article that quotes a bunch of people pointing out that YouTube is not to blame and has nothing to do with this attack. Some point out that those sites gave us a record of the attack to make it easier to capture and prosecute those responsible -- while others point out that "the public" is equally as responsible for wanting to watch that kind of attack in the first place. Either way, it's nice to see the AP quickly come out with a clear defense of why YouTube isn't the problem here.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Evil Mike, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:54pm

    There it is!
    The endangered creature, so rarely seen in the wild!

    Ladies and Gentleman, I give you:
    "Common Sense!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    yo ho ho...., Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:11pm

    Point the finger

    Isn't it about time that we finally blame those really responsible for all of these atrocious (and disturbingly increasing) acts by amoral teenagers -- its the parents fault for not taking an interest in their kids and instilling a sense of values, etc.

    Blame the parents who let their kids be parented by TV and other forms of electronic mediums rather than personal interaction.

    I was stunned when this happened -- but worse yet is the lack of accountability assigned to the parents and others around who let their kids become such monsters!

    'Nuff said.... time to step down from my perch... and grab another beer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Fushta, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:32pm

    News Source Titles are Misleading/Stupid

    Fox News, anyways, is titling/headlining the story, "...Teens...YouTube Attack..."

    Umm, they didn't attack YouTube, they attacked a human. Poor wording I guess. Anything to get the catch-word YouTube in there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Jazz, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:45pm

    Re: News Source Titles are Misleading/Stupid

    To me, that titles sounds like YouTube attacked some Teenagers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    EEJ (profile), Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:47pm

    My 2

    I haven't seen much reported about where the parents were during all of this, and where they thought their kids were.

    Her mother says she was talking bad about them online, or something to that effect. I don't see where that's an excuse for conspiring to brutally assault someone, and then post a video of it online for posterity. Does she really think that's okay?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Hellsvilla, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:06pm


    Hey! where's a link to the video? TFA says the police released the video.... so where is it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    anoncoward., Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:11pm


    just, lul.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    CVPunk, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:13pm

    another thing...

    this video was not originally posted on YouTube. The police found out about it before the video was ever posted. The video did not hit YouTube until after the police released the video. But I guess that is beside the point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    L Janik, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:25pm

    All criminals should video their crimes

    It makes prosecution so much easier.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    xxboxers, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:39pm

    and now for the update...

    This happened in my town (that's nothing to brag about), and our sheriff deserves some of the credit for getting the attackers charged as adults and keeping the blame off of the internet. Our sheriff has his own MySpace page that is filled with information about how to use the 'net safely, and how to avoid online sexual predators.

    The girl who was assaulted is still in the hospital, but last Friday Dr. Phil's staff posted $30,000 bail for one of her attackers so that the assailant could be on his show.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Bigboots, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 5:01pm

    Dr. Phil and the "Running Man"

    First I thought the kid’s actions were disgusting, but for a syndicated network show to profit off the misfortune of others is terrifying. Dr. Phil and the "Running Man". "This is television, that's all it is, it's nothing to do with people its to do with the ratings."

    If the Dr. Phil show is trying to do some good by bringing some awareness to violent teenage predators and educate them he should donate the advertising revenue to develop programs that have a long lasting effect for years to come.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 5:22pm

    That's ridiculous

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 5:39pm

    in an attempt to "get famous."

    Did it work ?

    I'd say they at least have become infamous. I think the victim gets all proceeds from movie & book deals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 5:54pm

    If the press tried to blame youtube people might notice who was granting their wish to be famous.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Glockman, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:50pm

    It is you tube's fault

    After all, kids never tried to beat each other up until video games and the internet polluted their minds,right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Ben, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:58pm


    Why don't we just blame the people that did the beating? Seems pretty easy to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 7:01pm

    If you're going to start reporting things that *aren't* being blamed on the internet, games or youtube specifically, you're going to have a significant increase in hosting costs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    i wanna see, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 7:35pm

    anyone have the link to the youtube video?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    zippoo, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 8:20pm

    youtube beating vid

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 8:27pm

    Re: Point the finger

    "all of these atrocious (and disturbingly increasing) acts by amoral teenagers"

    Learn your facts. Violent crime is going down. From the DOJ

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 9:51pm


    Really, AC? 'Cause I never see them. I was shocked. I'd be happy if you'd e-mail the links to me when you see them... I'm available at Just let me know, buddy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. icon
    Errant Garnish (profile), Apr 15th, 2008 @ 4:54am

    Who needs YouTube when you have Broadcast News?

    This case didn't, and shouldn't, provoke criticism of "YouTube" or "The Internet" since no part of it actually played out on the web. It further illustrates the video makers' immaturity that they allegedly believed the YouTube community would tolerate a clip of a violent assault.

    The irony of the whole thing is that many more people have seen the video replayed endlessly on national newscasts than would have ever seen it on YouTube.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    TheTraveler, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 5:48am

    Lets all video tape up beating up on 1 girl

    The fact that there was like 10 of them on 1 girl, and the fact that she didn't fight back made the whole video even better! I love the quote towards the end of the video... "Make the last 17 sec's good"

    Video Camara = $200.00
    House, planning, myspacecomments = $0.00
    Factthat you can't take a skinny girl by yourself and have to show the world your an idiot! Priceless

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Nasch, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 7:46am

    Small step

    What occurred to me is that in this case YouTube was (going to be) involved after the fact. We still need to see some cases where an online service was involved via members' actions before the deplorable crime happened, and the service still doesn't get blamed. For example, if the teens had posted a video about their plans to assault this girl, and then done it, would people have been crying that YouTube should have seen the video and alerted police? Probably.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Tack Furlo, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 8:22am

    Re: Small step

    Yes, but...

    What if I was to go on youtube and say I am in possession of a nuclear device and a gigantic drill capable of piercing beyond the earth's crust down to its core and causing a worldwide volcanic eruption? For kicks, we'll even go with the whole corny back story about being named Dr. Evil and the like. To me, I'm just jokingly reciting lines from the first Austin Powers movie. To youtube, it's funny. There are 2 ways this can turn out badly.

    1) If I'm not joking (and I obviously would be - I would never use a nuke so recklessly) and youtube doesn't report it, then the entire world gets covered in magma and many millions die. Was youtube to blame or was it just that I'm an evil SOB?

    2) Youtube could be obviously aware that it was a joke but required to report it to the authorities as a threat. It eventually makes it to DHS by which time it has gone through so many transcriptions that what I said looks nothing like what Dr. Evil said in the Austin Powers movie and it looks almost like a credible threat. DHS sends agents that come and get me in the middle of the night, hogtie me and send me to gitmo, where I spend the next 6 years being tortured for what would be at best a copyright violation if I quotes too much of the movie to fall under fair use.

    Ok, sure, technically there is a third option...

    3) Jack Bauer teleports to my location, shoots me, and then teleports to the next internet goofball's house and continues shooting them all until the world is safe

    But I don't watch 24 and prefer the Chuck Norris jokes over Jack Bauer, so whatever.

    Alas, the real moral of this story is that if every threat on youtube was reported to the authorities (FBI, CIA, Secret Service, whoever) the vast majority of youtube would be in some form of jail, foreign or domestic, and all the good videos on youtube would be either the star wars kid or some kind of animal. (I mean, hell, even the leave Brittney alone chick is a threat to homeland security IMHO - she's harboring a terrorist responsible for raping hundreds of thousands of ears!) The best course of action is, unfortunately, just to let those who makes threats on youtube continue to make them and respond after the fact, or else, we all get convicted with crimes that 99% of us would've never committed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Anonymous, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 1:19pm

    Can we get rid of the idea that the Internet needs to be filtered to protect the children? Obviously since YouTube had nothing to do, then we don't need Internet filters all over the place to protect the poor little children.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    cassie, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 3:52pm

    its stupid!!!!!

    i think that they r trying to blame people that are not responsiable. those kids should go to jail for a long time!!!!! also i feel bad for the kid it happened to!!! i hope that what they did happens to them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Advertisement - Amazon Prime Music
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.