Internet videos are turning to violence

Filmed ‘Bumfights’ shows the inhumane side of viral video trends

By Haley M. Walker |

I know that the Internet is a great apparatus for information, research and communication. I know this because I use it for each of those things often.

However, I think that I have been incredibly naïve to the fact that this instrument that we use every day can be used as a medium to display some of the most barbaric and inhumane portraits of society today.

Recently, I have been made aware of something called “Bumfights” on the Web, and I feel like it was noteworthy and berserk enough to share with you.

Hopefully, you will be as disgusted as I am by this so called “trend.”

“Bumfights” is a series of videos posted on the Internet and offered as DVDs that show homeless people being physically abused, mentally taunted and completely exploited.

These videos portray producers paying homeless people meek amounts of money in order to be able to use them in stunts, injure them and degrade them. These stunts or “dares” are then filmed, edited and shown to the American public.

In order to give you a slight look into the kinds of actions they ask these homeless people to do, in one of the videos that I was personally witness to, a homeless man is asked to run head first into a stack of crates for only a nickel.

Another episode shows a man setting his hair on fire for money. Some men have their belongings spray painted on while they are sleeping, and finally a homeless man is duct taped to a tree and embarrassingly scrubbed with soapy water.

The inhumane treatment of these people is taken even a step further, when the young men in charge begin paying tribute to The Crocodile Hunter, by pretending and treating the homeless as animals.

Following the story line of any “Crocodile Hunter” Web site, a man sneaks up behind a homeless man, captures him, binds him and begins taking notes on the description, size and weight of the captured.

While all of these specific instances are definitely disturbing, the examples could continue for many more pages and to be honest, quickly increase at atrocious levels.

However, what may be most unbelievable is that the producers of this series make millions of dollars at the expense of these people’s dignity and pocket change.

Furthermore, I was even more afflicted to learn that these videos have been the inspiration for many cases of abuse around the nation.

According to, two teenage boys in Florida admitted to police that the “Bumfights” series had spurred the severe beating of two homeless men with a baseball bat.

Further research showed that this is just one of many similar happenings.

­After researching the videos and then the articles on their awful impacts, I was forced to wonder how this issue will continue to progress.

I wonder if cruelty and brutality have really become the basis of America’s newest reality show? I sure hope not, but I am afraid to find out.

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