Banning 'happy-slapping' on the web: likely?

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youtube2.jpgUK government ministers want to impose tougher controls on video sharing sites such as YouTube in order to end the sharing and broadcast of violent home-made videos.

Whereas “Happy-slapping” (I hate that phrase, it’s so misses the point) videos may once have been shared with a select group by crowding round the mobile phone used to shoot them, now they’re reaching a wider audience by being posted to video sharing sites such as YouTube.

There are concerns that children have easy access to viewing real-life violence, as well as kids posting video of other children and teachers online, violating privacy or being used for bullying.

Though YouTube’s policy includes terms and conditions banning unsuitable videos including nudity, graphic violence and hate, we all know that there’s plenty of that kind of content around, and policing it is difficult. Users can flag inappropriate material, but it’s a massive undertaking.

Perhaps the Government is planning to request offending content be removed as Japanese broadcasters did regarding copyright material. It’s a mammoth, ongoing task, as there are plenty of places to post video content these days.

Andy Merrett