Dr. Joti Samra interviewed by CTV evening news today with Michelle Brunoro on Sullivan Heights Youtube video Fights

(CTV Vancouver – Published Monday, February 1, 2016)

 

Short videos of Surrey high school girls kicking and slapping each other are being published on YouTube, something psychologists fear could have a lasting impact on those involved.

 

The disturbing videos, which appear to have been filmed at Sullivan Heights and Enver Creek secondary schools, are being hosted on a YouTube channel dedicated to “Fights and Pranks in Surrey and other places.”

 

The clips are short, with one brawl lasting less than 30 seconds, but experts warn the effects can be felt long after the fighting stops, especially when the incidents are recorded and shared online.

 

Clinical psychologist Joti Samra said repeated exposure to the videos has the potential to change how the people involved view themselves.

 

“It starts to have a real, tangible impact on how we behave and think about ourselves moving forward,” Samra said.

 

“For teenagers, who are developmentally at a level of emotional maturity that’s less than adults, it can be highly damaging in terms of impact on sense of self, self-confidence, self-image.”

 

One of the clips has already been viewed more than 8,600 times, and even if they’re pulled off YouTube there’s a chance they will live on.

 

Social media expert Dave Teixeira said there are websites dedicated to collecting videos of such violence.

 

“These things will go viral and so a little fight in Surrey could end up all the way to Singapore,” Teixeira said. “The biggest problem with social media is whatever you put on there lives forever.”

 

The Surrey school district wouldn’t comment on the specific videos for privacy reasons, but told CTV News that any incident that compromises safety is investigated.

 

Samra said she hopes if nothing else, the videos will spark a conversation between parents and their kids.

 

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro

 

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