Dozens of teenage boys hovered outside Deer Park, N.Y., High School last week, some holding schoolbooks, some holding skateboards and some holding camera-equipped cellphones to record the proceedings. “There's going to be a fight,” said one boy with shaggy hair over his eyes. “Anything funny or crazy that people would want to see and talk about, we tape it and post it online.”
YouTube, PhotoBucket and MySpace are flooded with teenage-fight videos, and there are many sites, like PSFights.com, devoted solely to similar acts. Schoolyard scraps, spectacular skateboard spills and bruising stunts like hurling one's body through a neighbor's wooden fence – these staples of suburban teenage life have taken on a new dimension as online cinéma vérité. Instead of being whispered about among friends and then fading away, such rites of ridiculousness are now routinely captured on video and posted on the Internet for worldwide perusal, and posterity. Police are beginning to pay attention, too.