Panorama look at the growth of bullying portrayed on various video sharing networks – in particular YouTube and LiveLeak – which has fewer restrictions than YouTube over violent content. The programme included interviews with victims, as well as those who have uploaded videos and managers of the sites.
YouTube relies very much on the community reporting offensive material – though, given the range of material on YouTube, one wonders how many of the videos showing violence at school are found by the average surfer, rather than by viewers who have been pointed to the particular video. While they claimed that they would remove videos if they recieved complaints, in practice this did not seem to happen, though Google (owners of YouTube) seemed more responsive.
LiveLeak have minimal intervention; though they were shown some racist comments, and said they would remove them, they did not appear to have removed them. They said that a film that portrayed a fight between two girls, one who sustained detached retina as a result would not be removed.
Another issue that was raised in the programme was the lack of clarity in law over those filming the fights – often egging on the participants.
While the call from PAT (Professional Association of Teachers) to have YouTube closed will probably get nowhere, there is clearly a need to address the situation, and to clarify the law.
As pointed out in the film, children have always, and will continue to, fight in the playground; often with others watching. In the past, however, once finished, it was over. Now it can be replayed over and over for entertainment. One YouTube member, who had uploaded several videos clearly say getting his ratings above those of his friends as critical; he made no comment about the individuals concerned. (If he was asked about them, it wasn’t shown in the programme).
The programme is available on the site for the week, then it should be in the archives.

%d bloggers like this: