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German police warn social media stars after Berlin brawl

Berlin police said they made nine arrests after the fight broke out on the Alexanderplatz in the city centre
dpa/AFP
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Berlin (AFP)

German police warned social media stars Friday to rein in their followers after making several arrests during a brawl in Berlin when fans of two YouTubers squared off.

Berlin police said they made nine arrests late Thursday after a fight broke out on the Alexanderplatz in the city centre among around 400 backers of two rival stars of the internet platform.

Police said it took around 100 officers, one of whom was injured as a result, to break up the melee involving around 50 youths, which led to nine arrests. "Tear gas was also used," they added.

A police spokesman said the fight continued in a nearby subway station when a 20-strong group started throwing rocks taken from the railway lines at each other.

According to media reports, the brawl started as a result of a turf battle between the rival YouTubers.

As a result, a senior Berlin police chief appealed to those with large internet followings to be more responsible.

"We see in the rapper scene, and increasingly also with other influencers, that they are sometimes very negligent with their influence," said Norbert Cioma, head of the Berlin chapter of the GdP police union.

"It seems to be fashionable to deliberately open a powder keg to generate more followers, subscribers and clicks."

One of the YouTube stars involved, Berlin-based Bahar Al Amood, who has 13,000 subscribers, later apologised on his Instagram account.

His rival from the southern city of Stuttgart, known on social media as 'ThatsBekir_' with 262,000 followers, said he "needs to take a break" as a result of the fracas.

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