COMMENTARY | The social media age has brought to rise behavior that is at once vicious and incredibly stupid. The UK Daily Mail recounts an example of this when a gang of teenagers viciously attacked a disabled military vet while filming the atrocity.
“Three teenagers accused of beating and robbing a disabled Army veteran on an Ohio bus while shouting racial slurs have been arrested.
“Police apprehended Kenneth Matthews, Ronald Reid Williams and an unnamed 16-year-old girl who allegedly filmed last Friday’s daytime attack on her cellphone, as they tried to flee.
“The trio were among up to eight teenagers who allegedly mobbed Matthew Robinson on the RTA Healthline in Cleveland.
“When the college student got off the bus near 6th Street and Euclid Avenue, the group allegedly followed him before stealing his belongings while yelling, ‘Knock that white boy out!’ Bystanders in the Public Square refused to help him.”
Presumably, as has been the case in previous instances, the recording was meant to be put up in YouTube for the edification of the friends of these young thugs. Quite a few of these random assaults have been prosecuted successfully as a result of this kind of social media boasting.
Indeed, Australian writer John Birmingham suggests that filming these kinds of atrocities should be encouraged, the better to apprehend, prosecute, and punish them. On the other hand, since filming these muggings is part of the point of committing them, there is a downside to this.
Perhaps leniency could be considered if the person taking down these kinds of things were to go to law enforcement immediately with their video evidence, or at least give them a tip where to find the thing on the Internet. That way filming muggings and assaults could be seen more as gathering evidence and not as a means of chest thumping how tough and bad one is for assaulting a disabled vet. It might even start to discourage that kind of crime.