Suspects Set Live Chicken On Fire For YouTube & Facebook

The lengths that some people will go to for their fifteen minutes of fame are absolutely sickening.

The lengths that some people will go to for their fifteen minutes of fame are absolutely sickening.  In a recent case, reported by The Augusta Chronicle, a pair of young men—one a teen, only 17 years old—are accused of setting a live chicken on fire in order to post the video on YouTube and Facebook.  The young men are facing up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

According to The Chronicle, James Mitchell Henthorn, who is older than 18, and James M. Williams, 17, are being charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, “for allegedly setting a chicken on fire by using a blowtorch and flammable liquid on August 29.”  The crime “is punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.”

I, for one, am absolutely disgusted by this whole thing and I can’t help but shudder at the idea that social sites like YouTube and Facebook would inspire people to do something so grotesque.  I can’t help but wonder whether these young men would still be setting chickens on fire if not to share it with their friends on Facebook and posting it to YouTube in the hopes of achieving their 15 minutes of fame.  If, indeed, fame was the only reason these guys did what they did, well, it looks like they’ve achieved it, along with some much-deserved jail time.

Unsurprisingly, most readers seem to agree with my interpretation.  On an article about this on the Clarion Ledger, reader Evilonline writes that, “if it’s true they should do every bit of time and pay every cent of the fine.”  On the Agustra Chronicle article, reader Chillen writes, “This story still makes me sick to my stomach.  What kind of human being tortures an innocent animal?”  Others think that the actions of these guys translate to the early signs and behaviors of serial killers.

But not everyone agrees.  Clarion Ledger reader Steve Mahanahan says, “Yeah, I just don’t see the problem here.  How is this any worse than mass killings of chickens that happens everyday…All these kids did was expedite the process and capture it on video so we could all be properly educated on how to fire roast a chicken…I mean seriously guys, they’re just chickens and the good book tells us they don’t have souls and won’t be in heaven anyways.”  I seriously hope you’re joking, Steve.

What’s your take on this incident, as well as other incidents in which people have done disgusting and outrageous stuff for the sake of YouTube?  How far would you go to get attention on Facebook and YouTube?  Let us know in the comments below.

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.