Does social media encourage young people to commit violent acts? - KMOV.com

Does social media encourage young people to commit violent acts?

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Two Metro East brothers were investigated after a video on Youtube allegedly showed them posing with a stolen gun. Two Metro East brothers were investigated after a video on Youtube allegedly showed them posing with a stolen gun.
The video of a Metrolink rider being attacked was shared on Facebook. The video of a Metrolink rider being attacked was shared on Facebook.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The connection between social media, violence and young people is one that can be helpful to law enforcement, but others worry social networks like Facebook and Twitter encourage young people to participate in violence.

In March, the attack of a Metrolink train rider was captured on cell phone video and posted to Facebook.

Just days after the Facebook video was brought to the attention of police, suspects were identified and taken into custody. But while police can use videos on social media to assist their investigations, others worry it is a disturbing trend.

"I mean, it's horrifying when you think about it," said St. Louis Aldermanic President Lewis Reed. "It's a glorification of violence."

In February, two Metro East brothers were investigated after police found a homemade music video of them flashing a gun allegedly stolen from a retired police officer on Youtube.

"They're saying now, that by the time a kid makes it through elementary school, they will have witnessed 8,000 murders on television and 100,000 violent acts on television," Reed said. "We as parents, as city residents and legislators, we need to begin structures and programs to move kids away from those things."

By seeing so many murders and violent acts on television, some worry young people will try to emulate what they see.

The organization Better Family Life developed a Neighborhood Alliance Model, where representatives go door to door in neighborhoods to get out the message on keeping communities safe.

One of their messages is for parents to monitor their children's activities, including social media.

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