Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are where many people share some of the best moments of their lives. But as Caitlin Elsaesser, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Connecticut, found out from interviewing young people in Hartford, Connecticut, the platforms have also become popular places to stir up trouble. What often starts out as an online spat can quickly escalate into fistfights or even gunplay. Elsaesser suggests that social media conflicts that go from cyberspace to the streets can no longer be ignored.

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Jamaal Abdul-Alim

Education Editor

Comments and livestreams can lead to physical fights, shootings and even death. Photo illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

How social media turns online arguments between teens into real-world violence

Caitlin Elsaesser, University of Connecticut

Social media isn’t just mirroring conflicts happening in schools and on streets – it’s intensifying and triggering new disputes.

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