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.
|Brazil's Exit From the World Cup Means that its Political Unrest Can Resume|
|Action Comics' #900: Superman Renounces His American Citizenship|
|Palestine Recognized by U.N. as a 'Non-Member Observer State,' Israel Retaliates By Approving New Settlements|
|"Islam is a cancer, period." Film Attacking Prophet Muhammad Sparks Angry Protests|
|If You Link or Comment About WikiLeaks, You Don't Get a US Government Job|
|“Human and animal cells can be 3D printed into high-resolution tissue.”|
|“This conversation about how technology is hijacking people is really catching on.”|
|Japanese Create Ice Cream That Does Not Melt|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|“That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think.”|
|“Nobody is forcing the participants to stay, of course, but if they leave, they won’t be paid.”|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“Eliminating the time needed to stop and re-charge a conventional electric car’s battery.”|