Although UK officials will be meeting social media executives to figure out how to stop people from organizing riots online, it turns out that social media sites were used by people reacting to the riots, not inciting.
Analysis of more than 2.5m Twitter messages relating to the riots in England has cast doubt on the rationale behind government proposals to ban people from social networks or shut down their websites in times of civil unrest.
A preliminary study of a database of riot-related tweets, compiled by the Guardian, appears to show Twitter was mainly used to react to riots and looting.
Timing trends drawn from the data question the assumption that Twitter played a widespread role in inciting the violence in advance, an accusation also levelled at the rival social networks Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger.
The unique database contains tweets about the riots sent throughout the disorder, which began in Tottenham, north London, on 6 August. It also reveals how extensively Twitter was used to co-ordinate a movement by citizens to clean the streets after the disorder. More than 206,000 tweets -- 8% of the total -- related to attempts to clean up the debris left by four nights of rioting and looting.
|Brazilian President Calls U.S. Surveillance a "Breach of International Law"|
|iSinglePayer iPhone App Censored by Apple|
|Ron Paul: Is He Starting to Make Sense?|
|"Islam is a cancer, period." Film Attacking Prophet Muhammad Sparks Angry Protests|
|American Union Protests Spread from Wisconsin to Ohio and Indiana|
|“Google and Facebook figured out how to commodify 'reality' itself by tracking what people do.”|
|“New York Central trains in the Hudson River valley in 1928 and 1929”|
|“The latest warning sign for cities who are considering signing over public spaces to major tech companies.”|
|“Scientific evidence that digital distraction is damaging our minds.”|
|“Buying a new smartphone every two years is taking a toll on the planet.”|
|"Waymo is reportedly planning to take the next step towards offering a commercial driverless car service in early December."|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“Bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies.”|
|“We need to make algorithms transparent, regulated, and forgiving of the flawed creatures that converse with them.”|
|“Forget reading the book of life—we’re now learning how to write it.”|