Is social media fuelling anti-social behaviour?

This week has seen an incident of anti-social behaviour which occurred in June making national headlines. A video shows a large group of boys riding bikes through an Asda store in Brighton, pulling wheelies, intimidating customers and even physically assaulting one gentleman. Products are knocked to the floor and the boys appear to take items from the shelves before cycling out of the store.

Anti-social behaviour - cycling in an Asda store to generate content for a YouTube channel.

Dangerous actions continue on the street outside where they dodge in front of oncoming vehicles while pulling wheelies.

The boy who recorded the video shared online on YouTube under the title ‘The Maddest Day Ever in Brighton’. You can clearly hear ‘Make sure you like and subscribe yeah?’ at one point in the video. It transpires that this group has a YouTube channel with 90,000 subscribers.

Numbers of likes and subscribers have become an important measure of success in the world children are growing up in. With such a large proportion of people broadcasting their lives, it takes something special to stand out from the crowd and to gain ‘likes’. Are children turning to increasingly anti-social behaviour in order to generate content which will gain the attention of others?

YouTube has removed the video but you can still see a portion of it here.