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Report: Twitter Helped Put Out Fires in London, Not Start Them

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 25 2011

An analysis of Twitter usage during Britain's London riots indicates that Twitter was used more to react to riots and looting than to cause it, The Guardian reports:

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.

Also per The Guardian, representatives of Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion will meet with the British Home Secretary today. They plan to argue against emergency measures that would restrict access to social media, the Guardian reports.

It was not Twitter but BlackBerry Messaging that became the British government's bête noir during the riots. But as social media come under fire from governments that are blaming them for disorder in England and elsewhere, perhaps evidence in favor of one network is admissible, so to speak, in all of their ongoing trials.

Update: And it seems that banning people from social media has been taken off the table.

(Via Mark Pesce)

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