*World Star Hip Hop – the website urban (code word for black) youngsters like to post up videos about sex, violence and of course rap – is under scrutiny after victims of video taped beatings and other violent acts have come forward about the embarrassment and danger they experienced.
An example would be what happened in Atlanta recently where two of the teens accused of beating a young man they perceived to be gay had video cameras rolling during the alleged attack, which was uploaded to World Star Hip Hop and other websites that alerted police and prompted a federal investigation.
“When I found out the video was online, I didn’t want to see it,” said Brandon White, 20, the Atlanta victim. “It was embarrassing, it was humiliating. Why? Because it was one guy against three other people. By them going ahead and wanting to release it and put it on the Internet, I feel they wanted the attention, they wanted to make themselves look like they were brave, they were strong. But in my opinion, I’m the brave one.”
Such violent videos, shot by amateurs witnessing or participating in fights, have triggered at least six criminal investigations since April 2011 and highlighted what at least one sociologist calls the normalization of violence.
But crime pays in most of these cases; the website nets about 500 million impressions a month, according to its founder, Lee “Q” O’Denat, 38, who started the site as a way to share lesser-known rap music but now envisions a World Star media empire. The company would not disclose how much it is worth, but O’Denat said it charges anywhere from $650 to $2,500 to post music videos and party promotion videos.
But police are using the site now as a way to identify victims and attackers.
Read the full story at ABC News.
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