Social Networking and Technology Key in Sorting Through Vancouver Riot Mess

by Jordan Richardson on June 16, 2011

With the Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup in Vancouver last night, Canucks “fans” went absolutely batty out in the streets of their fair city. This isn’t the blog for taking apart the rioting, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t state that I am personally disgusted and appalled at the whole retched display.

Watching the rioting carry out, I couldn’t help but notice how many people were simply standing around holding smart phones, cell phones, digital cameras, and other electronic devices. It struck me as a compelling commentary on our times that one of the first things many people think to do when confronted with a burning police car in the streets of a major city is to whip out a smart phone and start filming.

On top of that, many people celebrated their own acts of vandalism by taping themselves or their friends doing damage to public property, police vehicles and so forth. While this idiocy is off the page, it does help determine just where to begin when it comes to sorting through the riot mess.

It wasn’t long before various groups on Facebook opened up with the express purpose of identifying rioters by name and turning them in to police. Groups like “Vancouver Riot Pics: Post Your Photos” came into being with designs of having users turn in their pictures from the riot so that other users could tag people they knew. While a small, vocal, moronic minority decried the group’s members as “rats,” most people happily took part in the exercise with the intent of turning in the information to Vancouver police.

Amazingly, some pictures posted in Facebook groups captured looters actually in the criminal act of stealing from stores. Comments poured in lambasting the actions and the perpetrators.

Vancouver’s mayor also took to his Twitter account to get the word out.

It’s clear that we live in a world where social networking has insurmountable importance. Social networking is proving instrumental in helping NATO in Libya, for instance. It’s been critical in many other situations as of late, too, from Iran to China and onward. Our connectivity as a society is unavoidable in a philosophical sense, but social networking has brought it home practically. The age of being “anonymous” when participating in something like the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riots is thankfully gone. And the cowards, thugs and criminals are being brought to justice in a whole new way.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

sunil June 16, 2011 at 10:13 am

The simple act of pulling out a smart phone or digital camera just stalled the police departments efforts to get people out of there. Frusturating to see police have such a hard time to get people moving.

Social media is a very personal thing as it reflects an individuals experience. Everyone wants their own personal experience broadcast on the web for friends and strangers to comment on. When that happens, you have hundreds of people around a burning car (!!) trying to capture the “me” moment.

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