Viral fight videos becoming more violent

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, May 9, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Two fight videos in less than one week show a different side of Augusta's nightlife. The latest captured at a Waffle House restaurant where workers were involved.

Once they're recorded, they're posted on websites containing categories like "street fights," "girl fights" and "ghetto fights."

"About three to four years ago, we started seeing a big trend of people videotaping playground fights, fights in their neighborhood between people and then broadcasting that," said social media consultant Patrick King.

He says he's watched that trend grow for years with multiple websites popping up specifically geared towards fight videos.

"There are sites that people are now posting to that heavily promote fighting," he said.

They draw millions of viewers, thousands of likes and hundreds of shares on all sorts of social media sites.

"It goes back to seeing an accident or train wreck, everyone wants to look and see what the commotion is about," King said. "Now it's just become part of our culture, which is kinda sad."

He says lately they've become more and more violent. In Augusta, we've seen multiple fight videos from the Augusta Mall to downtown to a Waffle House. They were all posted on social media sites.

There is a good side, though. The fight on April 27 in downtown Augusta was all recorded on a cellphone. Evidence that can now help investigators figure out who was involved.

"In general, with the cellphones and cameras on there, we're getting them being recorded more," said Investigator Cheryl Dorsey with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

When videos are sent to the Sheriff's Office, they decide on a case-by-case basis if they're criminal and then can start an investigation from there.

"You just have to base it on the circumstance and what appears on that video," Dorsey said.

They say the video is helpful, but a call would be better.

"It would probably help us a lot more if people would call in right then instead of posting it and things of that nature," Dorsey said.

As for the downtown fight, they did create an incident report for that. They have identified two victims but still have no suspects. They are asking for the public's help to identify anyone involved.

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