British leaders are considering enforcing a crackdown on Internet video sites such as YouTube, following claims that they are fuelling random acts of violence.
Commons leader Jack Straw yesterday urged MPs to try to get legal controls included in the Violent Crimes Bill when it comes for discussion next week.
He was responding to Labour MP Iain Wright, who said he was sickened by a YouTube video of a man being kicked unconscious.
Wright took the issue to the House of Commons after a clip filmed in his Hartlepool constituency showed a man being attacked in the street and kicked in the face.
"I am concerned that acts of violence and instances of happy-slapping recorded on mobile phones are transferred to the Web for wider consumption," the Daily Mail quoted Wright as telling the House.
Elsewhere, the National Association of Head Teachers also called on YouTube, bought by Google last week for £855 million to ban clips mocking school staff. Teachers said pupils often use the site to humiliate staff.
One video apparently features shots of a teacher's breasts and others show staff being sworn at or verbally abused.
General-secretary Mick Brookes said: "Without doubt this is cyber-bullying and any pupil caught doing it must be punished. These kind of things completely undermine the authority of a teacher and they should be policed and taken off the sites”.
Straw said he was "very glad" the issue had been raised.