Essay on London riots

Topics: Social network service, Facebook, Riot Pages: 4 (1550 words) Published: March 13, 2014

What was the influence of social network services in the development and the organization of the London riots? From the 6th to the 10th of August, the UK suffered from clashes with the police, rioting, arsons and lootings which spread from London across the country resulting in five deaths and 1500 arrests and a lot of accusations towards social media. The initial riot began as a response to the death of Mark Duggan, who had been fatally shot by special police forces two days earlier in Tottenham, an area of London which is well known for its difficulties between the black community and the police. However, the unrest of the riot spread to other London areas and even to other English cities. Speculations arose about how the spread of violence could have happened so easily, eventually blaming social network services for their simplicity to privately contact large groups of people and instigate riots. The purpose of this study is to learn more about the dangers of social media and how we can prevent them increasing violence and crime in the future. The papers first section will analyze social media regarding the behavior of youth, the second section will focus on which form of social media had the biggest impact and the last section will analyze why the police could not control the social network services. It is hard to give an exact answer to the question how social media could have helped increase violent behavior and the size of the riots. The main reason however seems to be that social media can facilitate people’s decision whether or not to participate. Generally people do not want to be at risk of getting caught and therefore they try to estimate the danger of joining the crowd beforehand. Social network services make it easier to decide now without any risk, because people do not actually have to come anymore to estimate the size and risk of participating. Instead, they can go online to gauge if the size will be big enough to go unnoticed. This is the...

References: Casilli , A. A., & Tubaro, P. (2011, August 14). Why net censorship in times of political unrest results in more violent uprisings: A social simulation experiment on the UK riots. Retrieved from the Social Science Research Network website: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1909467
Gross, M. (2011). Why do people riot? Elsevier Ltd. , 21(18), R673-R676. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982211010177
Halliday, J., & Garside, J. (2011, August 11). Rioting leads to Cameron call for social media clampdown. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk
Halliday, J. (2011, August 24). Facebook and twitter to oppose calls for social media blocks during riots. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk
Lewis, P., Ball, J., & Halliday, J. (2011, August 24). Twitter study casts doubts on ministers ' post-riots plan. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk
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