Monday, August 8, 2011

Social Media Lights The Fuse...Again.

There have not been many news stories published in the last two days regarding the London riots without the word 'Blackberry' mentioned as the tool being used by rioters to organize. The reader envisions the masked mobster, petrol bomb in hand, lighting the fuse with...social media?! In balance, society is communicating and mobilizing faster than ever before, using social media in the efforts towards good and bad. As crowds gather to perform criminal acts, so too do they organize and inspire revolutions.

In the wake of a controversial police shooting, Britain’s capital city has been rocked by two straight days of widespread rioting and looting. As with previous riots—such as those in Vancouver, B.C., following the Stanley Cup finals—everyone seems to be looking for a culprit, with some blaming Twitter and Facebook, and others pinning the violence on BlackBerry (RIMM) and its instant messaging abilities.
But that’s a little like blaming individual trees for the forest fire. As we’ve pointed out before with respect to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, these are just aspects of our increasingly real-time, mobile, and connected lives, and they can be an incredibly powerful force for both good and bad.
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