Thursday, 25 August 2011

Guardian data shows Twitter didn't cause riots

Following on from my recent post, the Guardian has produced a rather useful interactive graph illustrating data of Tweets relating to the riots.

It is no surprise that early indications are that most Tweets were reactive and not pre-planning the next move of the rioters.

Hopefully this will inform Theresa May ahead of her meeting with key social networks and help prevent headline grabbing but ill thought out plans to shut down social networks during times of 'civil unrest'.

Monday, 8 August 2011

London riots caused by social media

Social media has caused the London riots. That's the implicit message in a much of the coverage on day three of the London riots.

This isn't true. Social media is merely a medium for trouble, a vehicle for organised chaos.The modern day pamphlets of the French revolution.

Yet the use of Blackbery Messenger in the London riots does show that technology is once again putting rioters and the lawless minority one step ahead of the Police and even the Prime Minister who is now cutting short his holiday but because of the speed and relentless nature of the London riots, this looks like a leader showing a distinct lack of leadership.

Social media hasn't caused the London riots, it has shown that the current system of law and order and summer political organisation is no longer working.

The Met would be well advised to appoint a new Chief Constable who realises this before it is too late.

David Cameron would likewise benefit from not misjudging the mood of a country in crisis and briefing stories such as how he returned to tip an Italian waitress when his country's capital is in meltdown. That, is bad PR advice.