Social Sentinel Blog

Fight Videos - the Who, What, When and Where

Posted by Dr. Gary J. Margolis on May 16, 2016 6:42:01 PM

The promise of instant fame by broadcasting inflammatory social media content brings very real, devastating consequences. It takes little time to organize and publicize the filming of a fight video. School grounds or school sponsored activities (such as athletic or social events) are common locations for filming because they guarantee a large gathering of interested parties that can assemble quickly. The quickest path to publicize a video with the greatest exposure – publicly available social media.

Social Sentinel developed a 4 Tip Strategy to be alerted to the 4W’s (Who, What, When and Where) of fight videos and related violent events being coordinated on social media :

  • Fight videos often are planned on social media
  • The people coordinating and filming videos are known in advance
  • Things can move quickly!
  • Stem coordinated violence through community transparency and education campaigns

Did you know that the Social Sentinel® service scans over 850 million publicly available social media posts per day across multiple social media sites?

We do so to provide school officials with a better understanding of the social emotional behaviors of students in distress and to identify potential threats to our clients’ communities. Through the knowledge of our campus safety and security experts and our clients' experiences, we have a solid understanding of the safety, security and mental health issues that impact our clients’ communities and a unique opportunity to configure the Social Sentinel service to help each client fulfill his/her Duty to Care.

One trending issue that needs immediate attention is the coordination, glorification and exploitation of fight videos on social media.

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The promise of instant fame by broadcasting inflammatory social media content brings very real, devastating consequences. It takes little time to organize and publicize the filming of a fight video. School grounds or school sponsored activities (such as athletic or social events) are common locations for filming because they guarantee a large gathering of interested parties that can assemble quickly. The quickest path to publicize a video with the greatest exposure – publicly available social media.

Social Sentinel developed a 4 Tip Strategy to be alerted to the 4W’s (Who, What, When and Where) of fight videos and related violent events being coordinated on social media:

Tip 1: STRATEGIZE & IDENTIFY - Fight Videos Are Planned On Social Media

The Social Sentinel service includes Local+™ Lists that allow your team to input, in advance, local information (in this case, school names, terms describing campus fight locations, etc.) that are paired automatically with behavioral phrases our linguists have identified that correspond to safety and security issues including fights and fight videos to increase the likelihood that you learn about the event while it is in the planning stages.

Tip 2: ALERT & ASSESS - The People Coordinating and Filming Videos are Known in Advance

Typically, fight videos are not spontaneous. Specific details, including “Who, What, When and Where” are often identified in advance and shared publicly on social media. Once you have been alerted to the potential for a fight video on campus, you will most likely see subsequent posts that include who is fighting and who will be filming. At this point, you should have enough information to intervene proactively.

Tip 3: INFORM & AVERT - Things Can Move Quickly!
The coordination phase varies. In some instances, it could be in the works for a week, in others, hours or minutes. If you haven’t identified enough specific information about the “Who, What, When and Where,” consider increasing administrative or police presence onsite as a deterrence measure. Follow up with communication – involve students, educate them about the dangers and the consequences of fighting on campus, and remind them about your See Something, Say Something program.

Tip 4: EDUCATE & PREVENT - Stem Coordinated Violence through Community Transparency and Education Campaigns
Once students know that school officials will be notified of threats made to the school on public social media channels and that local authorities can track down the originators of those threats (whether shared publicly or privately if another person comes forward to report it), they are less likely to plan a coordinated event. Being transparent with your community about your use of the Social Sentinel threat alert service is easy to do with the assets we provide in our communications kit.

To learn more about the Social Sentinel service, watch this video to hear about the service from a client’s perspective.

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