1. The world seems to be very upset right now… The “leaders” are going to have take notice and give people liberty now. http://welldrainedsoil.com

  2. Twitter & Facebook will be the supreme courts in the future?

  3. Lucian Armasu Monday, August 8, 2011

    But what do you do when the services are run from the same country where the riot is happening? Someone on Twitter was saying RIM has confirmed they are giving the information about the rioters who were using BBM to the police.

    1. As far as I know, RIM has just said that it is going to “assist the authorities,” but it’s not clear whether that means it is going to reveal the content of messages or the identities of users.

      1. Why are we worrying about protecting the location and/or identity of rioters? The UK isn’t Libya, it has a reliable court system to protect individual rights. RIM should absolutely give location information and even identity information to the police to quell riots.

  4. It is because joblessness and poverty in Britain don’t fool yourself.

    1. Poverty? This is the 6th richest nation on Earth, nobody here knows what ‘poor’ even means. 500,000 Somali kids starving to death while stupid lazy rich westerners destroy their own neighbourhoods cos they feel ‘deprived’.

      Looting shops, burning homes and mugging innocent bystanders is not “protesting”, it’s “being a criminal scumbag”.

      I hope BBM, TW and FB keeps all that juicy evidence…

  5. Tom Foremski Monday, August 8, 2011

    Every time there is some social unrest somewhere in the world tech writers feel obligated to comment. Matt, why is that?

    1. I do sometimes agree. As much as I don’t like it when its done wrong, this article is well written.

      Unfortunately, this a result of the intersect between technology and human behaviour.

  6. Debbie DeGabrielle Monday, August 8, 2011

    There are definitely parallels between television news reporting and social media networks for publicizing either good or bad behavior. And while social media networks are certainly not the root cause of local, national, or global protests/revolutions, the Internet and 24/7 access to social channels encourages a certain degree of sharing that attracts immediate attention with viral results. Unfortunately, in this situation, it fueled some really bad behavior. Great post—thanks for sharing your insight, Mathew.

  7. Lindsworth Horatio Deer Monday, August 8, 2011

    Egypt 2.0 but in London. same cause. and again social media is the acceleration that fuelled this fire out of control. and no, prior to the Internet, Revolutions started just fine without FB and Twitter :D


  8. This is rediculous. Are you insinuating these wouldn’t have happened if BBM and Twitter didn’t exist. It is in man’s very nature to use violence to express their anger at the cards life has dealt them. With or without twitter and BBM, these people would have done exactly the same thing. http://t.co/iWy2eaJ

  9. selinapatrick26 Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    You can’t blame social networks for organising riots! Social networks are a way of comminicating and if people who want to riot didn’t have them, they’d use chat rooms or some other form of mass communication such a forums and blogs. All the networks do is allow people to talk to each other – their plans to damage property and steal things is their own doing and their own behaviour is their own responsibility.

    Check this Youtube Video http://t.co/mPJfgC3

  10. A few things, BBM is not a social network – it is private group short messaging service.

    RIM should not release the messages en masse, this is not how legal interception is supposed to work.

    The authorities should follow the law, and request interceptions of people they suspect as being thugs involved in this violence.

    I’m not a big fan of Gladwell, but he is absolutely correct: these riots are not caused by BBM, but they have been “honed” by its use.

    This is “traditional” thuggery and mindless violence, there are laws to combat that. Use them.

    As you rightly put it, the “methods” used by these thugs are similar, if not the same as the methods used by people fighting and rioting for their freedom, and democracy in other countries.

    Remove/interfere with these tools (which can be used for good or for bad) and you do the public a disservice.

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