Facebook moves quickly to shut down page with New Zealand fight videos

Cyberbullying cannot go unnoticed, but one study says instances are not reported enough.
ROBERT KITCHIN/FAIRFAX MEDIA

Cyberbullying cannot go unnoticed, but one study says instances are not reported enough.

A New Zealand fight page, which showed brutal videos of school kids brawling, has been shut down.

Thousand of people "liked" brutal videos of fights involving schoolchildren, prisoners behind bars, and brawling on the streets. It had 25,000 followers.

One post of a fight apparently filmed in Nelson had more than 85,000 views.

Facebook moved quickly on Monday to close a New Zealand page featuring fight videos.
REUTERS/FILE PIC

Facebook moved quickly on Monday to close a New Zealand page featuring fight videos.

In the Nelson video, two young men, one of whom appears to be wearing a school uniform, circle each other and one of the youths punches the other, who falls to the ground.

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The page, which has been closed, featured fights in prisons, street fights and brawls between Kiwi youths.

The page, which has been closed, featured fights in prisons, street fights and brawls between Kiwi youths.

A group then knocks the teenager who threw the first punch to the ground and brutally assaults him, punching and kicking him while he is on the ground.

Some of the onlookers eventually shout "No" and "Stop."

Another video showed people fighting in Timauru. Timaru Safer Communities committee chairman Peter Burt slammed the behaviour as being "ridiculous".

"You get that crowd mentality, which can turn to custard very quickly."

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It only took one punch to potentially result in a death or serious brain injury, he said.

And Senior Sergeant Mark Offen, of Timaru, said the fight could have had a very serious outcome.

"There is the potential for things to end with serious injury, or even death.

"There have been numerous examples, locally and nationally, where people have died as a result of one punch."

He added: "If people are wanting to participate in organised fighting, then there are a couple of boxing gyms in South Canterbury, and martial arts clubs, where the appropriate training, the appropriate support, and the appropriate safety is undertaken."

A study of bullying in New Zealand by Victoria University of Wellington found cyberbullying was not reported as often as other types of bullying behaviour, such as verbal or physical threats. This was a concern, the study said.

A spokesman for Facebook in New Zealand confirmed the page had been taken down.

It failed to meet the company's community standards, which help inform users about unacceptable content and are used to tackle instances of, for example, threats, bullying and harassment.

The page, which was accessible on Monday, is now unavailable.

Police monitor Facebook and other social media for evidence of illegal behaviour.

A spokeswoman said the page appeared to be similar to one removed by Facebook in January.

"A similar site was removed by Facebook recently after complaints from the public.

"Members of the public are encouraged to contact police if they wish to raise issues of concern.

"Certainly, anecdotally there is an increase in this type of behaviour, which has been made easier as mobile phone technology has become more sophisticated and affordable."

For more information visit cyberbullying.org.nz

 - Stuff

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