This chapter begins with a survey of the history of popular fears that cast the media as a negative influence on young people – from Victorian ‘penny dreadful’ novels to the Internet. It examines the controversies surrounding the media’s impact on young audiences. The chapter charts the development of this tradition of ‘media effects’ research. This tradition has many proponents, but it has also been challenged by numerous theorists, and it surveys the chief criticisms made of ‘effects’ research, its assumptions, methodologies, and conclusions. During the 1920s and 1930s gangster films attracted similar controversy. Hollywood was accused of delivering impressionable youth into a career of crime through depicting mobsters as glamorous and exciting, and in both America and Europe many gangster movies were either censored or banned outright. The chapter concludes with a review of growing anxieties about young people’s apparent ‘addiction’ to video games.