The Internet went into vigilante mode last night, following the popularization of a video that depicted a young male being beaten by seven Chicago teenagers.
YouTube, Reddit, 4chan, and Facebook users mobilized after a thread on Reddit that linked to the video quickly shot to the front page. The original two videos were taken down, but a third YouTube video was still up late Monday night. (It has since been removed because its content violated YouTube’s terms of service.)
In the highly disturbing video, the youths laugh and curse as they punch and kick the male in the head as he tries to defend himself in an alley behind a school, at times pleading in broken English and Chinese. At various points he lays curled up in a fetal position.
“Felt awful watching that video knowing there wasn’t anything I could do. Hopefully [R]eddit and the Internet prevails and we all see these kids on the news tonight or tomorrow… Idiots,” wrote iamnameless on Reddit.
In the four hours since the video was linked on Reddit, all seven students reportedly deleted their Facebook accounts, presumably due to a barrage of messages.
But they didn’t do it fast enough. All seven students have been identified by 4chan, and their personal information, including parent names, addresses and telephone numbers were publicized in various corners of the Internet, including the YouTube video’s description linked above.
Internet citizens also mapped out where the attack took place based on information given in the video—specifically the addresses written on garbage cans.
Some also urged people to contact Fox News Chicago and the Chicago police department with the video.
According to a Chicago Tribune article posted late Monday night, the attack happened on Sunday, and detectives are already on the case.
“I’m sorry Chicago police. You are too slow. GO VIGILANTES” wrote jroduboom on WGN-TV’s posting of the video.