It's called #SmackCam and it is beyond disturbing.
The premise is simple: sneak up on a friend or family member and record yourself smacking them in the face. The videos of battered faces and shocked screams are emerging as one of the fastest growing fads online and its pioneers are now worried it's going too far.
Complex Tech reports:
"My cousin gave me the idea about smacking people for Vine, but I wasn't too sure if I wanted to do it," Max Jr. told me. "Evidently I ended up smacking people and it became a huge hit. I held a Smack Cam competition about two weeks ago and I got over hundreds of posts. That's when I really realized how big Smack Cam became."
What makes this "amusing" for people is beyond me... (click on images to view)***
Yep, just look at how much fun this girl is having right after two teenage boys clock her in the face:
Or this idiot who thought it'd be hi-larious to smack his own father upside the head with a fist full of shaving cream:
I can't even imagine the kind of hell that would have rained down upon me had I ever tried to pull a stunt like that, probably because I can't even imagine ever doing something so brazenly violent and disrespectful -- not just because I didn't want to get in trouble, but because, uh, I'm not an animal.
A quick search on Twitter yields nearly a thousand results—a mix of personal #SmackCam videos and commentary about the swelling trend. And as the social movement has grown over the course of the last three weeks, each subsequent video has taken on an extreme nature (some border on assault). [...]
We get it: You want to be a part of the newest trend on social media, and it's all in good fun, but at what cost? Sooner or later someone is going to get really hurt—and no one will be laughing then.
"I'm really scared how far people are going with Smack Cams now," Max Jr said. "When boys are smacking girls, hitting animals or even kids, it's a bit out of hand, especially with hard objects. I started Smack Cam for fun, not to see people come out with serious injuries."
And naturally, this fear is warranted. As dumb kids tend to do, mischievous teens are always looking for ways to improve upon the original "Smack Cam" idea and serious injuries seem almost inevitable.
Parents: I'm pretty sure "Smack Cam" falls under that whole monitor-what-your-kids-are-doing-online thing.
I'm so glad I grew up in a time before camera phones and YouTube...
***Update: This video of a guy smashing a gallon jug over a girl's head has been removed and its owner now says it was all just a funny joke -- you know, because battery against women is so comical, or something.