November 15, 2008

YouTube Pulls Videos Romanticizing Columbine Killers

YouTube has removed numerous videos praising the Columbine High School teenage killers.

Videos discovered on the website honored Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold for performing the shocking shooting, which caused the deaths of 13 people.

The Colorado killings, which happened nine years ago, were portrayed in some of the videos as a positive event. These videos have now been taken off the site.

A YouTube spokesperson noted that the sheer volume of content posted daily means that not all the videos can be verified right away.

It was found that there is a flourishing online community infatuated with the teen gunmen Harris and Klebold.

Several tribute videos located on YouTube idealized the killers who killed 12 pupils, a teacher and injured 23 others before committing suicide.

The investigation discovered that not only American teenagers are enthralled with the Columbine killers.

A 17-year-old teen named Levi, from North England, defended his video, saying: "I made the video to raise awareness and I in no way shape or form meant it to look like that [a glorification of the killers]."

"I wanted to show different sides of them, the personal sides of them, rather than glorifying it. I wanted to let people see behind the killers and see they were real people."

Levi's video was removed from the site because it failed to meet the site's guidelines.

YouTube, a company owned by Google, announced that was thankful that the videos were brought to their attention.

Peter Barron, Head of Communication for Google UK, owners of the site said: "We do not tolerate videos that glorify school shootings and have removed the videos that fall into that category".

Barron said it was nearly impossible to examine the enormous volume of material (13 hours every minute), that YouTube receives every day, and therefore the site depends on their users to flag videos that are unacceptable.

However, Brian Rohrbough, whose 15-year-old son Danny was killed in the massacre, stated that he was concerned about the effects these kinds of videos could have on teenagers.

He said that, "YouTube should maintain a certain degree of morality. A picture of my son lying dead in the sidewalk was used in a music video [not on YouTube] almost immediately after Columbine.

"This is the type of thing that our culture promotes."


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