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.
|“The purpose of a user agreement is to cover Facebook's rear end, not inform users of their rights.”|
|Twitter Ruining Canadian Government|
|Ivory Coast: Their Politics Make Yours Look Mundane|
|“In the end all we do on social media is akin to a fart in a crowded room.”|
|"Black-hat automation is skewing the national conversation."|
|“These planets are more likely to look like giant eyeballs whose gaze is forever fixed on their host star.”|
|“This allows rail operators to instead focus on deeper psychological manipulation.”|
|Fake Name Generator|
|“A new privacy scandal that’s getting far less attention.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Knowing how to operate a smartphone does not qualify as being tech savvy.|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|
|“We need to attack the root cause of almost all bodily defects: aging itself.”|
|Bird Shit Advertising|