Thursday, 14 May 2009

Killing of Armenian teenager over online social network insult highlights a "culture of violence" in our society

News that a teenager in Gyumri, Armenia's second largest city, was murdered after online Odnoklassniki (Russian version of Facebook, extremely popular in Armenia and post-Soviet states) insult spread over the Internet via AP, and then Armenian news outlets.

Armenian teenager killed after online clash
YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Police say an Armenian teenager was killed after a dispute on a popular social networking Web site. Interior Ministry spokesman Sayat Shirinian said Wednesday that 17-year-old Tigran Tadevosian died in a hospital shortly after being assaulted by four teenagers on April 26. He said Tadevosian was attacked after he insulted a young woman in a chat room on, a widely popular Russian version of Facebook. Police have arrested one suspect in the attack in the western city of Gyumri. claims to have more than 35 million users in Russia and other former Soviet republics.
Hetq Online, and Hraparak provide further details on the incident.

Commenting on the killing of a teenager, Blogian says (and I completely agree with him) that this tragic incident highlighted a "culture of violence, uneven relationship between men and women (where the latter often seek “protection” from other men), and a failed police system":

"It would be unjust to use this story to generalize Armenia, but there is a pattern of violence in the society whether starting online or in real life. Several years ago, for instance, an acquaintance at the time from Gyumri (the city where Tigran was killed) told me about his friends’ online “heroism:” straight men, posing as gay, would find online hookups, make a date with the real gay guy, show up with a gang and assault him. In Armenian chat rooms, men start “fighting” or “defending” a girl and then meet up for fights."

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