Social Media as a Catalyst and Trigger for Youth Violence

This report focuses on the challenging link between young people’s use of social media and youth violence. By highlighting the ways in which social media is acting as both a catalyst and trigger for serious incidents of violence, the report provides a springboard for action and collaboration between a range of stakeholders.

Social Media as a Catalyst and Trigger for Youth Violence

The Catch22 Dawes Unit, in partnership with University College Birmingham, has released a report examining how the blurring of online and offline boundaries has led to serious – and often hidden – safeguarding challenges for professionals working with young people.

Social media is an integral part of the daily lives of young people in the UK and has left online– offline boundaries increasingly blurred. Whilst social media offers huge opportunity to enhance the quantity and quality of communication between people across the world, it also raises some serious challenges.

This report focuses on one of these challenges; the link between young people’s use of social media and youth violence.

The report:

  • Gives a practical overview of how young people use social media platforms today.
  • Examines how social media acts as a catalyst for serious incidents of violence between young people in real life.
  • Identifies additional safeguarding challenges raised by social media, including glamorisation of violence, negative perceptions of authority and instances of sexual assault.
  • Identifies a number of recommendations to prevent young people from harming, and being harmed by, other young people as a result of social media activity.

The recommendations provided should not be taken as a fixed blueprint, but as a means of kick-starting the development of appropriate and effective policy and practice in this area.

Read the executive summary here, or request the full research here.