Need help dealing with violent or distressing online content? Learn more


Getting into a fight was bad enough. But when a video of the fight was sent to everyone, it got totally out of hand. I felt so ashamed.

One day, these older guys at school started trying to pick a fight with me and my friend Tom. There were four of them. They were saying things to Tom like, ‘What are you doing hanging out with him?’ I told him to ignore them and kept on walking, but they followed us. Then it all happened so fast.

One of them grabbed Tom and held his arms behind his back so he couldn’t fight back. Before I could do anything, two of them started hitting me. I tried to push them off, but they kept hitting me and I fell down. Then they started kicking me and flicking dirt on me. I didn’t hit back – I’m really not like that, and I thought it would just make things worse.

Afterwards, I was bruised and sore. Tom was unhurt, but he was so upset that he hadn’t been able to help. He told me one of them had filmed the whole thing on his phone. Later that week, video of the fight was being messaged to other guys at my school. 

When I saw the footage, it just made me feel sick and ashamed. 

I knew I was right not to fight back – but people were making comments online calling me a ‘coward’. I didn’t want anyone to see the video, and I wanted the guys who hit me and shared the video to be held responsible. 

Tom and I showed the video to a teacher. The teacher reported what had happened to the principal and the guys involved were suspended. Anyone who had a copy of the video was asked to delete it, but it had already been posted online. I really didn’t want it out there for everyone to see.

With the help of the teacher, we made a report to eSafety. The eSafety team was really helpful and supportive. They asked for a copy of the video, and they were able to get it removed. It was an awful experience, but I’m really grateful that video isn’t going anywhere, and it won’t be seen by anyone else.

Note: Syed’s story combines experiences and emotions of a number of individuals in this situation. Stock photo. Posed by model.

Last updated: 31/07/2023