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 friday >

First POST: Tracking

Questions about whether Whisper is secretly tracking its users' secrets; the FBI's continued push against the new wave of encrypted phones; community service, high-tech-mogul-style; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Hosts

Airbnb in hot water in NYC; Knight Prototype Fund backs some civic tech projects; pondering Google's position on net neutrality; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Africa Calling

How some techies are starting to respond to the Ebola crisis; everything you need to know about GamerGate; how Twitter may upset the 2015 UK elections; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Burrowing

How Democratic candidates down-ballot are getting access to the same voter targeting tools used by larger campaigns; Microsoft Bing rolls out its election prediction program; Edward Snowden's first emails to Laura Poitras; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Attending

New revelations from Laura Poitras' film Citizen Four; how India's new real-time online attendance system for government officials works; tech critic Evgeny Morozov in hot water; and much, much more. GO

More