This last semester, I’ve mentioned happy slapping a fair bit, along with other abberant, digitally-inspired behaviours. If you haven’t heard of happy slapping, well it’s a phenomenon sweeping the UK in which an individual slaps or strikes a (usually) complete stranger while the incident is recorded on a video-enabled mobile phone. Of course, since such phones are also Bluetooth or MMS equipped, videos can be usually traded, shared and uploaded, and competition promotes one-upness.
A recent article by Carl Longino (via Boing Boing) helps to support the point that these incidents should be taken seriously, and instigators are violent criminals. Longino points to a video compilation by blogger Alfie Dennen which shows just how violent these attacks can in fact be.
If you are at all sensitive to violent video footage, skip it. However, if you want to see how bad this problem could get, you may want to take a look. Scary stuff.