Back in the halycon days called "the 1990s," you could beat up a man, rip the expensive athletic shoes off his feet, and carry your lace-up trophies away without being caught. No iPhones, no problems. No more!
Now people film those kinds of private moments, post them on the Internet, and get you into trouble, as nine college students have learned. However, the students—attendees of Dean College in Massachusetts—have embraced the iPhone Age, so they didn't seem to mind that they were captured on video beating up a man and taking his $200 limited edition Nikes right off his feet. In fact, one of the students even gives a special shout-out to WorldStarHipHop.com—"your favorite place on the 'net for beating videos, sex videos, and other kinds of disturbing videos"—in anticipation of the inevitable: that the footage would land on WorldStarHipHop.com. Dean administrators learned about the video and expelled the students. Now the police department plans to press charges.
The true ownership of the shoes is under dispute. Some witnesses say the main attacker believed the victim had taken his Nikes. The victim's roommate denies that claim, saying the victim brought the shoes from home. Whatever the case, the outcome of this situation highlights a recurring problem for people who beat up other people in videos that land on the WorldStar: There are consequences.
You have to weigh your options. Assaulting someone away from the cameras means forfeiting the opportunity to go viral. Assaulting someone on camera means you can become Internet-famous, but then you might go to jail. Seems like a matter of priorities more than anything else.
We must give our own special shout-out to WorldStarHipHop for giving the beating video a home and helping to perpetuate despair in America.