"Blind anger", detachment from reality behind live-streaming of fatal stabbing: psychologists
The live-streaming of a fatal stabbing in Den Bosch on Saturday was a first for the Netherlands, but it's happened before elsewhere in the world that such violence is recorded and shared on social media. The recording and sharing of such violence show a certain detachment from reality, clinical psychologist Jan Derksen of Radboud University Nijmegen said to Brabants Dagblad.
Anouk den Dekker (20) died in the stabbing incident. Her half-sister, 21-year-old Bouchra D., is suspected of killing her. She is in custody and will be arraigned this week.
According to Derksen, "a lot of blind anger" was likely involved in this attack. "Chasing, killing, and filming. Then you are completely out of reality. Capturing it is a reflex. It has become so second nature to us that it doesn't even register for me anymore. Under the spell of emotion, the layer of civilization is very thin." According to him, people can find enjoyment in aggression. "Filming and sharing live take it one step further."
Media psychologist Mischa Coster thinks that the live stream suggests "a certain amount of awareness." "Such a person wants to achieve something with that, but what?" he said to the newspaper. "I guess the first people who saw the stream couldn't believe it was real. It's such an unusual thing; you normally only see that in movies." The fact that other people shared it online can have various reasons, he said. "They want the scoop or share it because of the intense reaction it provokes in them."
According to both psychologists, preventing people from sharing this type of footage will take more than the police's moral appeal. "People can't really empathize with that situation. I think they'll have a better chance by focusing on limiting the damage, for example, by reporting a post," Coster said to Omroep Brabant.
"That [moral appeal] strikes a chord with a small group that had no intention of sharing it anyway. Others won't let the police stop them. If you were to make it a criminal offense, it could suppress the behavior in some cases," Derksen said to Brabants Dagblad. But eliminating it altogether will take generations of social media being part of upbringing and education. "Research shows that a difference can be made, especially at a young age. A lot of people have only come into contact with social media at a later age, with a large group that message barely gets through."