Online violence that fuels murder: Young British gang members boast on Twitter and YouTube of stabbing and beating rivals – which provokes further bloodshed on the streetAmid boasting and street talk, police witnesses are named and shamed, stabbings are celebrated and gang feuds are ramped up to a lethal intensity.
This is everyday chat on the Twitter account which has almost 3,000 followers and is readily available for public viewing.
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Gang rivals are mocked for weakness or for their jewellery one is taunteBut the account’s main purpose as its name indicates is to intimidate ‘snitches’.
One young girl is even named and pictured, accused of ‘setting up’ 16-year-old Leoandro Osemeke, otherwise known as a rapper called ‘Showkey’.
He was stabbed to death at a party in Peckham, South London, in 2016, and the girl was viciously targeted afterwards for her perceived although unexplained responsibility for his demise. Comments on the site exploded in fury: ‘This b***h needs to die legit,’ says one; ‘Little b***h,’ says another.
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It is precisely this sort of online aggression that Britain’s most senior police officer, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, blamed for the passing of a grisly milestone: 50 murders have been carried out in London this year,.
many of them gang-related, making it deadlier to live in than New York for the first time in modern history.
The fuel for this epidemic of violence, she says, is aggressive communication on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram as well as a flood of horrifying YouTube videos showing stabbings, violence and inter-gang mockery that have, in some cases, been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
The Commissioner warned social media was driving children to commit violent crimes ‘within minutes’ and told how trivial disputes quickly escalate, thanks to online goading.