It goes without saying that you should never post a video to YouTube of yourself or someone you know committing a crime. A group of Pennsylvania teens are the latest to learn this the hard way. The teens were arrested after uploading a video of themselves seriously bullying another teen, kicking and punching him and hanging him from a tree.
Allegedly, seven teens from Upper Darby Township, PA were led out of school in handcuffs earlier this week after incriminating video footage showed them ambushing and attacking 13-year old Nadin Khoury. The story was reported, along with footage from the video of the incident, on ABC News. Following the ABC News report, Khoury appeared on the Today Show, speaking about what happened to him. Aol News reported that the video had been posted to YouTube – a fact that was not supplied in wither the ABC or Today Show report.
Obviously, I’m disgusted by the fact that teenagers would do something like this, as well as the fact that nobody stepped in to help. However, I find it even more disgusting that these kids thought it was okay to videotape themselves abusing this poor kid and to post it to YouTube.
NYDailyNews.com is hosting an interesting poll on their report about the incident. They ask readers, “Is the attack on a defenseless boy worse because it was posted on YouTube?” Readers can respond with, “Yes, a group of cowards who beat up a small boy shouldn’t have their sick attack glamorized.”, “No, the attack was horrible, but these thugs might not have been caught without the video.”, or “I don’t know.”
The results were interesting. Readers seem to be almost perfectly split between “Yes” and “No”, with a small fraction answering “I don’t know.”
I answered, “I don’t know” because, honestly, I’m torn. On the one hand I think it’s disgusting that criminals are uploading video of themselves to YouTube and pictures of themselves to Facebook because they think beating up a kid, stealing a car, killing puppies or other disgusting acts are actually cool, impressive or worth sharing. In this regard I think that the fact that they aren’t ashamed and, rather, are proud enough to share what they’ve done makes their crimes even worse.
On the other hand, it’s true that quite frequently criminals are caught because they upload pictures or video of themselves committing crimes, Tweet about their wrongdoings or update their Facebook statuses with proof of what they’ve done. In that sense, I’m glad that from time to time criminals are stupid and idiotic enough to swell with pride at their crimes enough to share them in the public forum. But it’s a tough line to draw, if you ask me.
What do you think of the story of the teen bullies in Pennsylvania? How would you respond to the survey above?