YouTube faces crackdown on video links to violence

YouTube and other social networking websites could be the subject of a government crackdown following claims online videos are fuelling a spate of violent crimes.

Senior ministers are urging MPs to debate the issue when the Violent Crimes Bill is discussed in Parliament next week.

Commons leader Jack Straw yesterday admitted he was glad the problem had been raised by Labour MP Iain Wright, who cited a clip of a man being kicked unconscious in his Hartlepool constituency. He said he was "sickened" by the video that appeared on YouTube, adding: "I’m concerned acts of violence and instances of happy-slapping recorded on mobile phones are transferred to the Web for wider consumption."

Straw told the House of Commons: "We shall be discussing the Violent Crimes Reduction Bill next week. I hope he [Wright] raises the issue on an appropriate amendment to the bill."

YouTube has already been the subject of controversy in Parliament this month. Labour MP Sion Simon was criticised by other politicians for posting a spoof clip of Conservative Party leader David Cameron. Simon invited voters to sleep with Cameron’s wife. The video was removed.

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