When Twitter first exploded, one of my friends likened it to Myspace on speed. Now, in the midst of an epidemic of violence, sex, racism and celebrity, the social media site has become a breeding ground for young internet thugs who have too much time on their hands and not enough parental guidance.

Aided and abetted by World Star Hip-Hop, a cesspool of a website that risks children’s lives on a regular basis for page views and ad clicks, little girls are becoming (in)famous for taking Twitter disputes to the streets with bruised egos and video phones – and getting seriously hurt in the process.

The equivalent to “Meet me around the corner at 3:00 p.m. after school gets out,” has morphed into “I’m coming to your doorstep and beating the sh*t out of you – and I’m recording it too, bitch.”

This was never so apparent as the video that circulated a few weeks ago of a girl getting beaten within an inch of her life. A girl, who apparently had an issue with some words that were written in the Twittersphere, knocked on her doorstep with a camera crew and proceeded to drag her out of her own home. Yes, it was WSHH that broadcast the incident to the entire world. We must give credit where credit is due.

(Sidenote: If you want to see two little girls fighting like rabid animals, you’ll have to google it yourself, because I won’t be posting it.)

Conya Doss, award-winning soul singer and special education teacher in the Cleveland, Ohio school system, spends her days working with at-risk children and believes that there is a direct correlation between social media and reality TV. The effects are then manifested through our children’s behavior, both in the streets and at school:

“The social media and reality TV have become the new role models for our youth,” Doss says. “It has failed to do so in a positive manner. A large percent of our conflicts at school stem from Facebook and Twitter beefs.  It makes it so hard to resolve because so many other factors are involved and the impact is so much more destructive because rumors and slander reach so many more people.”

Doss draws musical inspiration from her students and their struggles for identity and incorporates socially conscious artists such as Nina Simone and Marvin Gaye into her classes. Still, she says that Twitter “beefs” erupt on a regular basis:

“I have seen very similar events like the Cleveland girl assault video which circulated WSHH,” says Doss. “Some serious consequences need to be put into effect. Too many don’t see the impact of this and it truly is horrible.”

This is about so much more than “social media” and its pseudo-premise of entertainment and promotion. This is a business that cares little about the detrimental impact they are having in the lives of young children, but unfortunately, the blame doesn’t simply fall on Twitter. We also have “professionals,” such as Toure instigating “beef” with Roland Martin over a damn basketball game, Roland Martin instigating beef with the entire gay community over a Super Bowl ad, Kim Kardashian never missing an opportunity to post a provocative picture and Rihanna showing how much she loves her “Mary Jane” and “Cake” while giving shout-outs to her tween fans. And not to be outdone, we also have none other than Tamar Braxton trying to pick a fight with Jill Scott over a comment about positive imagery of Black women on television. If our children ever hope to be “famous,” what else are they supposed to do but act like damn fools for the world to see?

Note to Tamar: That was sheer ignorance.edu.

Yes, parents and guardians are ultimately to blame for how, where and with whom their children spend their time, but any business that is willing to be the conduit for youth violence should be held responsible for its actions and at the very least be called out for it by concerned adults. Twitter, along with websites such as WSHH, who so brazenly posts titles such as “We Gotta Stop Twitter Violence: Another Chick Gets Beat Up Because Of Twitter!” — while simultaneously posting said video for page views — should understand that they are not fooling anyone. No one believes they want to stop the violence any more than the United States really wants to stop the wars. Bottom line, it’s all about profit and popularity — the same illusive goals our children are searching for — and they should be ashamed of themselves.

Twitter: Make that your next trending topic.

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  • Tonton Michel

    I have to agree, as much as I believe in holding parent, the culprits and consumer of debauchery responsible Twitter and WSHH are not even putting up a good front in recognizing the roles they play in this mess, throw in Facebook as well. I think we will see things slow down when more of these kids end up in a jail cell by producing their own evidence or when someone gets shot on video for running up on the wrong one.

  • Nikohl

    I am a middle school teacher and I have to deal with the drama of Facebook and Twitter in my classroom weekly. I don’t believe the problem is the social networking sites. The problem is the lack of supervision from parents. Parents let their children have cellphones and let them use computers without supervision and expect their teens to behave. They are TEENAGERS!! Just imagine what your adolescents would be like with these sites, a hot mess. And let’s be honest children are not the only ones misusing these sites, adults are too!

    Students need to be taught the consequences of their behavior on these networking sites but parents won’t do it so I believe in the future, teacher’s will have to take on this responsibility.

    Another problem is that parents allow their middle school children to watch adult shows like Jersey Shore or Basketball Wives. Of course children don’t understand that what is on tv is complete foolishness. These shows are setting examples of how to behave. Parents allow their children to be exposed to this crap and then expect them to have some kind of maturity. The adults on these shows act like they are 14.

    You can’t blame Twitter or Facebook. These are excellent social networking tools if adults and children used them correctly.

  • I think the issue is deeper. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and WSHH are more of an outlet for young people to showcase who they are, what they stand for, and their interests. The problem is that violence, slander, and gossip are what they’re into. The sites should be making sure that these things don’t go up but the reality is long before social media sites existed or were popular violence was happening in high levels among teens. While they definitely play a role social media is not to blame completely for what is going on. Celebrities aren’t to blame, music isn’t to blame, not even just parents are to blame for what is happening. It is society and community as a whole. Adults should be doing more to counter the messages sent through social media. I have yet to see a site that encourages teens to upload success stories or more positive things. We can blame them”

    • overseas_honeybee

      Very true … its a symptom of a larger problem that’s only going to get worse if left unchecked. It makes it that much harder to correct them when adults/celebrities get on this sites and show they’re whole “behind”… while we can’t blame them, their influence is only adding fuel to the fire. While we just stand on the sidelines and “hope” these kids start acting better. Facebook and Twitter can be pretty cool when used appropriately but I’m at the point where I don’t even bother with either unless its for my job. I don’t do drama. Enough is enough.

  • overseas_honeybee

    *** their whole behind***

  • apple

    The Internet and social media is ruining not just the youth but everything! To privacy to applying for a job to pop culture to safety,a gift and a curse. Without the Internet I couldn’t run a business but also without it I wouldn’t still be stalked by some creep from 4 years ago.