One of the videos depicts teenagers setting ablaze various parts of their own clothing, another shows giggling youth creating fiery explosions, while still more feature boys dousing various objects with accelerants before gleefully igniting them.“It’s no good unless someone gets hurt,” concludes a participant in one.
YouTube is replete with such home-made, widely viewed clips portraying dangerous fire-setting behaviour — which a new Canadian study suggests might be exacerbating an already serious arson problem among young people.
The impact of the short movies is unclear, but they have certainly caught the attention of an unusual sub-set of troubled youth, notes the study. A growing number of clients in the arson prevention program for children at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) report watching the videos, the researchers say.
Raymond Corrado, a criminologist at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, compared them to the online recordings of fights and…
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