Reporting Mike Schuh
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—Out-of-control crowds tear through Towson–some hoping to land a spot on a controversial website. The fights happened outside the Recher Theatre after crowds for a fraternity event overflowed.
Mike Schuh has more on the role social media played in the fights.
Social media may have been what drew so many people to that event in the first place and helped spark the violence outside.
New video shows violent fights in the streets of Towson. Three police officers were injured and one person was shot. K-9s were called in.
“Got it all on tape. Yup, yup. It’s on Worldstar tomorrow, yo,” one person in the crowd said.
Members of the crowd were egging on the violence, chanting “Worldstar.”
They’re referring to Worldstarhiphop.com, a site where users post outrageous videos in hopes they go viral.
“Social media often can lead to some negative behavior, negative consequences when used badly,” said
David Warschawski with Warschawski Marketing and Communications.
He says it’s sites like this that can cause escalating danger.
“We can see when social media gets used to intensify a crisis. When social media can add fuel to a fire, it can lead to a pack mentality,” Warschawski said.
The fights happened after a fraternity event at the Recher Theatre reached capacity, leaving hundreds outside.
Facebook and Twitter also helped the party get out of control.
“I guess with all the social media the way it is now, how connected everything is, they were expecting 500 kids,” said Brian Recher, owner.
But police estimate a crowd of about 2,500 people flooded the streets in Towson late last Saturday night into Sunday morning.
The crowds outside grew angry.
In the end, eight people were arrested as cell phone videos reveal the chaos that erupted.
The liquor board has decided to review the liquor license of the Recher Theatre in light of what happened last weekend. That review is set for Oct. 29.
WJZ reached out to the website World Star Hip Hop for comment and has not heard back.