Gross: 80 Kids Plan Brawl Online

A potential fight involving up to 80 children, some as young as 11, was averted by police in the UK, after they received a tip.  Riot police were called on Saturday afternoon after reports a brawl had been orchestrated by children from 3 different schools, who used the social networking website Bebo, as well as emails, mobile phones and text messages to plan the brawl.  Bebo said it had not been contacted by the police regarding the incident.  A spokeswoman said: “We would, of course, assist immediately with any investigation. “Illegal and inappropriate communications are in direct contradiction of our strict terms of use.”  Children were said to be carrying metal bars, wood, baseball bats and bicycle chains to use as weapons.  The initial group of children assembled at a playing field, but dispersed as police units arrived at the scene.

Fight planned on website – Internet Safety-Thoughts – Internet Safety-For Our Children’s Sake

First: Thanks for posting this, Jace (you rock). 

Secondly:  WHAT THE HECK?  Dear Great Godzilla (<- story for another time)!!!

Of all people, I am not as naive to think this doesn’t happen daily.  I know there are stories about cyberbullying nearly every hour it seems.  But EIGHTY CHILDREN?!  Some as young as ELEVEN?!

Things to point out (aka, initial reactions):

1. How… HOW… is it that 80 children– averging two parents each… were involved?  Where were the parents during this whole time?  EIGHTY CHILDREN– that’s not like five angry kids…  This wasn’t some “backyard gang” of morally corrupt tater tots– but enough children to house FOUR CLASSROOMS OF CHILDREN.  This was an army of kids.

2. Another notch on my anti-cell-phone-youth stick.  No one should allow their child to have a phone unless they understand EXACTLY what that means– RESPONSIBLITY.  Can your child handle the responsiblity?  Can they handle the rules?  Can they use it appropriately? 

The fact that these tater tots had the ability to orchestrate such a riot… and that it wasn’t just hidden in their social networking activities– but CELL PHONES AND EMAILS.  What do parents do now?  Are they walking ATM machines that just provide social luxuries to their deliquent & confused & morally corrupt minors?

Yet another need for parents to have some sort of “Parental Must Read” hand out regarding their child’s use of social technology– help them see the light and understand what is at stake.

3. AN 11-YEAR-OLD ON BEBO IS ILLEGAL. Pure and simple. When are social networking sites going to get punished for breaking the law?  SERIOUSLY?!  There are MANY social networking sites out there that just turn a “blind eye” to their users who are under the COPPA U13 legislation. 

4. Quite possibly the scariest thing of all time would be the vision of our future– our children– our YOUTH… walking down the street “carrying metal bars, wood, baseball bats and bicycle chains to use as weapons” to meet at a baseball field (a place of fun and entertainment) to beat the CRAP out of each other.  It just turns my stomach.  Shame on those children, shame on their parents.

  1. June 30, 2007 at 7:47 am

    Whoa…how come this wasn’t posted on the site? Isn’t Jace on that site too?

    I posted on my SC profile page re: the ‘what ifs’ of mobile social communities wondering what would happen if ‘flash mobs’ were mobilized like this…and egad…it looks like the scenario is now on record…eesh.

    In my ‘pre-internet’ tween times as a newbie ‘haole girl’ in Hawaii trying to get up a flight of blocked stairs and facing down my middleschool bullies w/humor and defiance could’ve had a very DIFFERENT outcome if those ‘Titas’ (roughians) had been packin’ cells to call for back up intimidation…yikes.)

    Clearly, the flash mob factor of online communities needs to have a high media literacy quotient for all involved…what may look like ‘one in an alley’ could quickly be ‘ten around the corner’…not ‘child’s play’ by any stretch.

  2. June 30, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Maybe you can write a new book, “Lord of the Cyber-Flies.”

  1. June 29, 2007 at 3:22 pm
  2. August 8, 2007 at 3:30 pm

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