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Your Black Friday mall brawl highlights

Technically Incorrect: As people rushed to get electronics, little seemed to have changed from previous years. There was pandemonium, and there were fights.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


It's a steal.

BlackFriday Fights/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's less a tradition than an affirmation of the human spirit.

Once the turkey has been dismembered, it's time to dismember a fellow member of the human race in the battle for electronic supremacy.

It often seems that, in Black Friday mall fights, electronics are involved. Last year, a TV was one of the fight prizes at Walmart.

This year, it appeared that some mall-goers may have been filming fights in order to be featured on, say, the WorldStarHiphop site. The New York Daily News reported that in one Kentucky mall, bystanders shouted "World Star." (Here's the video.)

People have rushed to post their mall-brawl videos to YouTube. Sadly, some appear to have taken advantage of footage from previous years in order to boost their reputations.

Perhaps the most moving video at the time of writing is one that seems to show a woman rush up to a child and rip a vegetable steamer from his hand.

The YouTube poster didn't want to identify themselves because "I don want 2b fired, but I work at this store in saginaw [Michigan] and this lady stole a veggie steamer from a KID on black friday! Shame."

Some might think it's a shame that if he or she works there, they didn't try to intervene in the affair. Some might think this video is so poignant that it's a Jimmy Kimmel fake.

A video from Walmart in El Paso, Texas, shows quite some confrontation over a TV, with security staff having to intervene.

A Walmart spokesman told me that the first security officer was an off-duty cop and another police officer also intervened. He said that the man in question was subsequently arrested.

The spokesman wouldn't be drawn on whether Walmart was seeing more of such incidents this year or fewer. However, he said: "We're happy with the way our security measures are working out this year."

Of course, it could be that many Americans have had quite enough of such Thursday night fights. It could be that they've taken the advice that it's better to stay at home and shop online.

Let's, though, end this with a further ray of hope. It's possible that shopping doesn't have to be a blood sport, even on Black Friday.

Here's the Guardian offering that ray from the UK: "Black Friday gets off to a calm start across the UK."

The Mirror appeared to contradict this with: "First Black Friday 2015 fight witnessed in UK." It turned out to be a prank.

So we await Cyber Monday with the news of a survey that suggests online shopping keeps Americans from losing their tempers.

For once, the Web is a civilizing influence.