Q. YouTube is a hugely popular video sharing site but it has been criticized for allowing scenes of teen violence and vandalism, and even indirectly encouraging teen violence in order to post those fight episodes on the site. What do you think?
Amanda Tant, 17, Butler High School, Matthews: We cannot allow censorship of the media. YouTube serves as part of the media by allowing any user to access information. Parents, not the government, should be responsible for what their child has access to and views on the Web. They also should take responsibility for any actions their children commit, whether they are inspired by Web videos or not. The only issue YouTube should be sued over is copyright infringement, not the behavior of minors.
Alison Gover, 16, North Mecklenburg High School, Huntersville: Any potentially useful tool can be harmful if it is used inappropriately. But to say that YouTube is solely responsible for encouraging teen violence is to ignore all the other media influences on today's adolescents. Video games, movies, television shows, and even news sources stream violence into homes across the country with limited or no censorship. The real fault lies with parents who do not act responsibly in monitoring what their children watch, or with the teens who should be informed enough to be able to separate what they see on a screen from their actions in reality.
Samantha Chandler, 14, North Stanly High School, New London: YouTube can be a good Web site and a bad Web site. You can find almost anything on it and it can help you with school work or anything you need to know. It also has very bad and inappropriate stuff on it that we don't need to see. On the other hand, there are some things that are just funny and can brighten your day. YouTube is a good site to have, but at the same time they should censor their stuff and credit TV shows if the video is not their own.
Nicole Monge, 17, Charlotte Catholic High School, Charlotte: Censorship is defined as suppression or deletion of material which may be considered objectionable, harmful or sensitive. While these videos show people doing harmful things to themselves or others, it is done of their own free will. YouTube does not force anyone to do anything or post anything. Furthermore, where do you draw the line at harmful? What is considered indecent for this particular Internet site? What one person deems inappropriate another could find perfectly acceptable. The subject is just too subjective to judge.