Violent Videos Gain Popularity on YouTube

Dr. Mary Sheridan
Dr. Mary Sheridan

DOWNTOWN HONOLULU (KHNL) --  Posting violent video on YouTube and other sites seems to be a growing phenomenon.  Besides posting videos of what appears to be animal cruelty, YouTube users have also posted fights and other acts of violence.

Experts say this is an unfortunate reflection of what's going on in our society.

Videos like these  pop up almost daily on YouTube. They get a lot of hits.

"More people put violence and stuff," said Ray Uclusin, a college student at Hawaii Pacific University's Downtown Honolulu campus.  "People want to see those types of things."

"Whatever people are talking about it, they want to know what it's like," said Andree Matte, another HPU undergraduate student.  "They want to see for their own eyes."

"Although violence has been around a long time, sites like YouTube bring it to a wider audience. Experts say there's a common thread among people who commit violence.

Dr. Mary Sheridan, HPU's program chair for social work, said many of them are often victims themselves.

"Frustrated at home, cannot retaliate against whoever is bullying him or her at home, now displaces that aggression, takes out that aggression on other people, and I think that can happen with animals as well," she said.

Dr. Sheridan added, people become desensitized because we see so much violence in movies and on TV shows.

"After a while of seeing it over and over again on television, it becomes less shocking," she said.  "It becomes, in their minds, the normal way that people deal with situations."

While some  violent videos have been taken off of YouTube , some believe web masters should be more proactive.

"People can post any kind of video on it and maybe the administrators should check it first and see if it's inappropriate at all," said Matte.

Experts say it's important to get professional help if you recognize this type of violent behavior in yourself or in someone you know.