Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

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)

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

First POST: Hotmail

The Clinton email brouhaha continues: Network Solutions, Clinton's domain registrar, was hacked in 2010; faulty encryption left the Clinton system open to hacking; @clintonemail.com a status symbol; "Jeb Bush did it too"; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Master of their Domain(s)

Hillary Clinton's "homebrew" email server; everything else you wanted to know about Clinton's personal email; a Romanian hacker called "Guccifer"; "Nothing is actually private"; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Shemails

Hillary Clinton stumbles on transparency; Jeb Bush chides her but he's too transparent; how Janet Napolitano got around that pesky gov't email rule; meanwhile, New York puts expiration dates on state workers' emails; and much, much more! GO

monday >

First POST: Outings

"Snowdenites" may have the "upper hand" in surveillance politics; ten lessons from the "underdog" net neutrality win; "Europtechnopanic"; ISIS threatens Twitter founder; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Revisions

Tim Wu says we shouldn't be so pessimistic about lobbying; Obama writes a thank you note to reddit; Ted Cruz wants to be the Uber of politics; Llamas!; and much, much more. GO

More