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Thugs stabbing people for ‘likes on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube’ — BBC report

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BBC Radio 4 presenter who is investigating knife attack in London discovers a friend’s son had been stabbed after looking on Facebook.

Kirsty Lang, a presenter at BBC Radio 4 has revealed she found out the son of an old family friend had been stabbed from a Facebook post.

BBC Radio 4 presenter, Kirsty Lang

Ms Lang had been investigating another knife attack near her home in Shepherd Bush, West London, when she stumbled across the story.

She wrote in the Mail on Sunday the boy had been badly hurt as he walked home from school with his older brother close to where she lived.

Ms Lang then met his mother, who she had chatted with at school gates, to say how sorry she was. She wrote: ‘In a calm, soft voice, she told me about the night her son was stabbed: the icy fear that went through her when she got the call and the anxious hours that followed as her son lay on the operating table while surgeons repaired his punctured lung.’

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The woman’s son, who she said was not a member of a gang, was not seriously injured but the Radio 4 presenter said she went on to do further research that revealed teenagers were being stabbed for social media credibility and ‘likes’.

Ms Lang added: ‘Perpetrators film their attacks and post the videos on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube, glorying in the violence and using the attention they receive from their followers – particularly the votes of approval in the tally of ‘likes’ – to score points with their rivals.’

She said her and her son had watched videos of local gangs bragging about how violent they were and goading other gangs.

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Ms Lang said the boy who had initially been stabbed near her home had survived and had since been released from hospital.

She wrote: ‘As a former news reporter who worked amid the violence of the former Yugoslavia as it fell apart, this was not the first time I had seen a young man bleeding from a terrible wound.’ Ms Lang said through her investigation she had discovered knife crime could be closer to home than people thought.

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