The unfunny side of Internet video sites

Adolescent violence linked to video-upload sites on the Internet is inspiring governments around the world to crack down on cyber-bullying with arrests, fines and jail sentences.

The state of Victoria in Australia banned the popular video Web site YouTube at schools Thursday. It said it was prompted to do so after hearing about a video on the site that showed male students assaulting a 17-year-old girl on the outskirts of Melbourne.

“There are discussions about these new forms of violence going on around Europe and around the world,” said Thomas Jaeger, coordinator of Visionary, an Internet portal on bullying and school violence around Europe. “We are only now learning about the problems brought by the Internet and how to deal with them.”

Moves by other governments against the phenomenon — known as happy slapping — include a law enacted last week by the French Parliament that will treat those who tape and post violent acts as equals in guilt with those who commit the acts.

In the United States, Washington state senators announced last month that they intended to place electronic forms of harassment on a par with physical acts.

To read the full article by Thomas Crampton, click this link

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