Should there be a phones down act to prevent people from recording acts of violence?


Zeniya Buggs and Malachi Ferguson

On October 29, 2022, videos of 25-year-old Shanquella Robinson being brutally attacked by her friends at a resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico surfaced the internet and shocked the world. The death of Robinson made national headlines as the family wondered what went wrong on this seemingly tropical getaway. In this case, the video that was recorded by a friend on the trip served as irrefutable proof that she was murdered, although the friend group initially claimed that alcohol poisoning was the cause of Shanquella Robinson’s death. Had it not been for this recording, the group’s cover-up story would have possibly been the only side of the story that the world would have ever known. This sparks the question: should there be a phones down act to prevent people from recording and posting acts of violence?

Some people argue that when a person realizes they are being recorded, it gives them an “audience”. And when there’s an audience, the person in front of the camera feel that they must “perform”; motivating the attacker to continue the act of violence, often in even more brutal ways. On the other hand, others feel that video recordings have been a pivotal form of evidence against larger agencies like the police force and its brutality against Black men.

Here at South Gwinnett, there’s a phone in almost everyone’s hands and when fights or arguments occur in our building, most students are reaching for the record button to be the first to post the negative content online for views and likes. After speaking with Angel Yanquoi, a junior at South Gwinnett, she states, “People believe recording the videos will allow them to gain respect and “clout” from other people.” Furthermore, she explains that this desire for acceptance stems from a lack of self-confidence and the desire to be seen. Often times, teens may not realize the magnitude of their actions when they post fights online. On Feb. 3, 14-year-old Adriana Kuch took her own life after a video of her fighting at school was posted online. Classmates at Central Regional High School in New Jersey, where she attended, taunted Kuch about losing the fight. Four students, who have not been named due to their age, have been charged for their role in the attack and harassments. In this event, this young teen’s life ended because of both school bullying and the cyberbullying that she recieved from social media users. Students and people alike should realize their negative content not only fuels violence, but when posted online for entertainment purposes, it can lead to larger and often times fatal tragedies.

Comets weight in, would you be in a favor of a phones down act to prevent posting violence online? Leave a comment down below.