WATCH: Chatham-Kent Parents Concerned Over Social Media 'Fight Videos'
There are dozens of videos posted on multiple Instagram accounts featuring similar acts of violence in Chatham-Kent.
One mom learned through a friend that her 13-year-old son was in one of the videos. CTV Windsor concealed her identity to avoid identifying her teenage son. She didn't find out about the video until it was online for an entire month.
"Something you don't want to see as a parent. You're supposed to keep your kids safe and he wasn't," she says. "The fact that my child had to hide it because he was scared to tell me and scared of what might happen to him from other children; it makes me sick to my stomach."
Another area mother also saw some of the videos posted through anonymous Instagram accounts.
Ferren Ytsma recognized local parks in the videos then saw her friend's teenage son featured in another and felt compelled to tell her.
"It's violent, it's very violent. That's why it's so hard for us as adults to watch," says Ytsma. "There's peer pressure to be a certain way, act a certain way and that everybody's going to see it."
Khoral Faubert learned of the accounts and watched some to make sure her son wasn't involved.
She's says she's worried about the implications for the youth Involved after the recording stops.
"I don't know what happened after, I don't know how that kid felt, I don't know if they can go home and talk to their parents about it, if they sought medical help, if they had friends to comfort them, all those thoughts went through my head," she says.
A number of area parents tell CTV Windsor they reported the videos as inappropriate to Instagram because they encourage violence and bullying and wanted them taken down.
The response they got from Instagram: "We found this account likely doesn't go against our Community Guidelines. If you think we made a mistake, please report it again."
Chris Lewis is a former OPP commissioner and public safety analyst for CTV.
"I think from Instagram or any social media platform to not view this as concerning and violating some sort of standard is not right," he says. "It's going to spurn similar acts around the world where kids are going to say wow, look at that kid, look at all the attention he got, we're going to do it now too."
He says it's unclear whether these videos are consensual or criminal, but says the best way to connect the dots is to get police involved — a step none of the parents CTV interviewed has taken.
"At what point does it get worse, someone brings a stick or rock or whatever into it, brass knuckles. This needs to be nipped in the bud somehow or another," Lewis added.
CTV Windsor has since reached out to Instagram's parent company Facebook; they now say the accounts have been disabled as they infringe on their bullying and harassment policies.
Chatham-Kent Police declined an interview but say they're aware of the videos — some of which have already been investigated — and they're looking into the matter further.
— with files from CTV Windsor's Rich Garton.