London Riots? Blame The Blackberry!

from the oh-come-on dept

The London riots sound a bit crazy, but perhaps even crazier is the fact that officials now seem to want to blame messaging via Blackberry devices for the riots:
Steve Kavanagh, the deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, said that "really inflamatory, inaccurate" messages on Twitter were mainly to blame for the disorder. "Social media and other methods have been used to organise these levels of greed and criminality," he said at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Ah, right, just like vocal cords, pamphlets, telephones and other communication tools "were mainly to blame" for previous riots. Hint to the Metropolitan police: if you're going to always blame the tool, you're not going to do a very good job dealing with riots. If people want to speak out, they'll figure out a way to speak out. It's not the technology that is to blame. The technology is just a tool, and if you block off one path, you can be damn sure that they'll figure out another path instead.

Of course, the downside of officials misleadingly blaming the technology is that you get folks like this Dutch politician who took to Twitter about this to ask why police don't just turn off Blackberry Messenger in London -- perhaps not realizing that shutting that channel of communications down wouldn't stop anything -- but likely would anger people even more.


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  1.  
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    Kurto (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:25am

    Pathetic

    Ha ha, yes indeed. its been hilarious here in London listening to everyone blaming this that and the other technology for everything!

    Thankfully there was at least one sensible police officer on the TV last night pointing out how, rather than blaming twitter etc. for the violence we should actually be embracing it as a tool for the police to track movements and criminal activity.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:32am

    And the usual suspects (Sky News, Daily Mail) want Twitter to be turned off because someone retweeted pictures of a car on fire.

    Ridiculous Mail cartoon here:

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/08/08/article-2023898-0D5B475000000578-416_634x573.jpg

    They probably won't even mentioned that the #riotcleanup hashtag on Twitter is encouraging people to get out and clean up the mess.

     

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  3.  
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    Just John (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:49am

    Twitter made me do it

    So, guess in this day and age, the old "The devil made me do it" doesn't work.

    Think I just found my new scapegoat. "Twitter made me do it".

     

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    Jan Bilek (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:53am

    didn't you jum the gun a little?

    I am sorry but I don't see the "blaming" you are talking about. You quote Steve Kavanagh saying that "really inflamatory, inaccurate" messages on Twitter were mainly to blame for the disorder... but he never claims that anyone else than those who posted those messages is to blame.

    The fact that the certain individual (ab)use some service does not mean the service is responsible, which of course you know, but... I might have missed something but it seems to me it's you who conflate service with its users, not him. Maybe you have seen so many examples of officials blaming third parties that you see that even where there is none of it and you are putting it into his mouth.

    Please see that article you linked: Asked whether those behind the messages could be arrested, Kavanagh said: "Absolutely."

    I don't see anything about blaming BlackBerry.

     

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    herbert, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:54am

    strange how the tide (blame) has been switched round, isn't it? when social network sites, mobile phones and other devices were used to keep the world informed of what was happening during the Egypt riots, for example, those devices were seen as being the 'dog's bollocks'. now, those same devices are seen as the cause of the problem.
    as per usual, when it suits, it suits, when it doesn't, it doesn't!

     

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    alex (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:09am

    If people want to speak out, they'll figure out a way to speak out.

    The weird thing with this is, nobody actually has anything to say - and certainly no unified message. They're just angry, and smashing stuff up and stealing stuff.

    The government don't even know what to say or how to respond because they don't understand it... Very interesting (and frightening) times.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:14am

    ""England's leadership has lost legitimacy and is "not indispensable," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton""


    they riot in other countries, but why doesn't Hillary say this about England??

    protesting for days, buildings burning, hundreds arrested, dozens of police hurt

    when will NATO start a bombing campaign for freedom loving Englanders???

     

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  8.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:16am

    Re:

    Yes - the authorities misunderstand where our security comes from. It does NOT come from the security services ability to crack down on dissent or track down insurgents (if it did we would be a police state) rather it comes from the consent of the general population. When that consent is withdrawn government becomes impossible because all that security services can actually do is to tidy up around the edges of an already peaceful society.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:40am

    Ok, we get it. Mass media and mass communication platforms can be used to make people do stupid things at a massive scale. Fine.

    So, why don't we use those platforms to achieve the opposite: engage the "agitators" and their would-be followers on their own channels, and try to persuade them to stop or not even begin to make a mess.

    You know: fight bad/offensive/dangerous speech with more and open speech?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:42am

    Also, something I just remembered: from what I've heard, the riots were happening in one of London's poorest neighbourhoods. Can poor people really afford to buy Blackberries and Internet access (for twitter) in London?

     

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    Osrik (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:00am

    Give the police a break

    In this case the fixation on blaming technoliigy seems to be driven almost entirely by the media not the police. I saw at least one onterview on BBC News where a senior police officer was being interviewed. The interviewer seemed to be desparatly trying to get the police to blame Facebook and Twitter for what was happeng while the police officer was making it clear that while easy communications could make life difficult it was nothing new and just something that had to be dealth with.

     

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    Just John (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:00am

    Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    Here are some quotes that I think Mike might have been looking at when he was writing this:

    "BlackBerry Messenger service played a key role in organising the London riots."

    "Patrick Spence, the managing director regional marketing at Research In Motion (RIM), confirmed that the BlackBerry manufacturer had contacted police to assist with the investigation."

    "BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) appears to be the favoured method of planning the unrest that has swept across north London since Saturday evening. "

    "RIM can be legally ordered to hand over details to police of users suspected of unlawful activity."

    "Although Twitter and Facebook have played a key role in past unrest in the capital, the Tottenham riots are thought to be the first in the UK so heavily orchestrated using BlackBerry Messenger."

    "Evidence of rioters planning where to hit next spread quickly on the networks as the police struggled to keep up."

    "One BBM broadcast posted on Monday evening appeared to urge protesters to go looting in Stratford, east London. "If you're down for making money, we're about to go hard in east london tonight, yes tonight!!" it said. "I don't care what ends you're from, we're personally inviting you to come and get it in. Police have taken the piss for too long and to be honest I don't know why its taken so long for us make this happen. We need a minimum of 200 hungry people. We're not broke, but who says no to free stuff. Doesn't matter if the police arrive cos we'll just chase dem out because as you've seen on the news, they are NOT ON DIS TING. Everyone meet at 7 at stratford park and let's get rich.""

    etc.

    Needless to say, the article linked does indeed give the impression, and those quotes are just some that came from it. The quote also comes from the original article, so if it is misquoted, then Mike just re-quoted the misquote from the original article.

    So, you good sir, please read the article that was linked, and then try stating again that Mike jumped to the wrong conclusion because of all of the Jello floating around in his head, or whatever you are trying to say, because I don't see where he has seen to many examples of third parties being blamed and therefore mis-represents the story that he took the information from.

    He may be opinionated, but I do not see where his opinion of their article is not spot on.

     

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    herbert, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:02am

    from what i understand, the main issue is the high cost to people of the UK governments reforms. the poorer sections are being hit hardest, typically, while those that have already, are being hit the least. same old story. not condoning what is going on for 1 second but i think it is being used as a catalyst to show discontent with the UK government. i wonder when mobile phones, tablets and whatever other devices that are supposedly being used to keep the 'rioters' informed of what is happening, will be banned. that's the usual way that governments deal with things. if they cant beat something, blame it then ban it!

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:13am

    Re:

    Blackberry messaging is one of the cheapest forms of messaging in the UK - it's why the Blackberries are so popular with the young texters.

     

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    ethorad (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:15am

    Re:

    I guess those that can't are out using a looted BB and sim card ...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:15am

    Re:

    Affording blackberries has nothing to do with it... everybody, be it in London, Paris, Lisbon, Madrid or whenever in western europe has a phone with wireless capabilities, and some sort of open Wi-Fi network around... phones are cheap...

     

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    ethorad (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:16am

    Re: Pathetic

    Agreed - all those records of tweets/BBIM arranging attacks coupled with GPS records should prove pretty damning.

     

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  18.  
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    Headbhang (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:20am

    Wrong target

    No, no, you got it all wrong! It's VIDEOGAMES, of course, what is to blame for the riots...

     

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    Liz, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:27am

    Re:

    ""America's leadership has lost legitimacy and is "not indispensable," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton""


    they riot in other countries, but why doesn't Hillary say this about the United States??

    protesting for days, buildings burning, hundreds arrested, dozens of police hurt

    when will NATO start a bombing campaign for freedom loving Americans???


    Watts Riots 1965, Student Strike of 1970, May Day Riots 1971, Greensboro Riots 1979, Rodney King/Los Angeles Riots 1992, Seattle Riots 1999, Cincinnati Riots 2001...

     

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  20.  
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    Jan Bilek (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:31am

    Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    Of course that I had red that article before I posted my post... and again, I still don't see any blaming in anything you quoted.

    Claims like "BlackBerry Messenger service played a key role..." are just stating the facts similarly like stating "the knife was used as a murder weapon", which does not imply that the knife (or it's producer) is to be blamed.

    And the fact that BlackBerry is helping investigation? They are helping because they are some kind of a "witness", someone who can have access to some information about what happened... which again in no way implies that they are held responsible for anything.

    "RIM can be legally ordered to hand over details to police of users suspected of unlawful activity." ? The same.

    And so on... I don't see how any of your quoutes implies any blame.

    I don't know what you mean by that "Jello floating"... I was just referring to the fact that articles about someone blaming some third party are pretty common here at Techdirt and I guess that phenomenon is pretty common.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:31am

    Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    Mike tries to associate

    communication tools "were mainly to blame"

    with the statements made by the Metropolitan Police - and that's not what they said.

     

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  22.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:36am

    So now we can 'blame' FB and Twitter for the clean up

     

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  23.  
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    John Doe, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 4:07am

    Sure am glad I have a Droid

    I am glad I got rid of my Blackberry and got a Droid or I would probably fly over there and join the riot. I wonder if "The Blackberry made me do it" will be a good defense?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 4:20am

    I love how when it's supposedly used for good, Mike praises it like it's the new wheel, but when it's supposedly used for bad, he just dismisses it completely as irrational.

     

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  25.  
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    The eejit (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 4:25am

    Re: Wrong target

    No, it's clearly those shitkicking looters' fault that the riots took place, so that they could loot. DUH!

     

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    John Doe, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 4:25am

    Re:

    I don't get that out of Mike's writings at all. He, AFAIK, never gives the technology the credit or blame like much of the media does. Instead he says, rightly so, that technology is just a tool. The uprisings in the Mideast would have resulted regardless of Twitter or Facebook and I believe if you go back and read Mike's posts on that topic he said the same thing.

     

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  27.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 4:32am

    And now the original cause that sparked riots is lost.

    That's another purpose of blame the technology.

    Here's what a bit of reading the Guardian found:
    Police stopped a minicab to make a "pre-planned arrest". The suspect had phoned a pal about an hour before that "the feds" were following him. A gun in a sock was allegedly found at the scene. A police radio stopped a bullet from hitting a "police marksman", almost certainly from a police gun, not the suspect's. Two shots were initially called a "firefight". No evidence that suspect fired any bullets. No answers were given to a group representing the guy's family.

    SO as a prior subway incident, wasn't just a random encounter requiring split-second decision. Police in large numbers were tailing the guy and chose when to make the arrest. My bet is was a sting all along. -- The details on the incident are few, but that's why it looks so much like an execution and people are enraged. -- I'm not saying that criminals haven't taken advantage of it or that rioting was a good idea, BUT there is an underlying real cause that's been lost.

    By the way, note that the serfs of England aren't allowed to have firearms.

     

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  28.  
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    John Doe, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 4:57am

    Re: And now the original cause that sparked riots is lost.

    By the way, note that the serfs of England aren't allowed to have firearms.

    Unfortunately most of the sheeple in the US are all to willing to give theirs up as well.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re: And now the original cause that sparked riots is lost.

    No, John, you are the sheeple.

     

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    John Doe, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 5:21am

    Re: Re: Re: And now the original cause that sparked riots is lost.

    Spoken like a true sheep.

     

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  31.  
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    freak (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 5:28am

    Re:

    Currently, the user @riotclenaup has 32,000 followers, all new since this morning.

     

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  32.  
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    freak (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 5:37am

    I feel a little guilty . . .

    I have to admit, when I heard about the news last night, I was listening to a punk rock song by the name of "London's Burning".

    Clearly, through the use of advanced magnetic technology used to spin the cylinders of my external hard drive, my connection to the internet, and the inevitable reverberation of my actions throughout the world, I am completely to blame.

    I'm sorry.

     

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  33.  
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    PaulT (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 5:37am

    Re:

    I'd like to see a quote where someone has supposedly used technology "for bad" where the technology was even relevant.

    Here, it's not only irrelevant how rioters communicated with each other (Blackberry/Twitter certainly weren't responsible for their actions), but we also see volunteer cleanup operations and civilian reporters using the exact same methods to communicate.

    In other words: the technology is benign, the users are the ones who control how it's used. When has Mike or anyone else here said otherwise?

     

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  34.  
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    freak (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    "Steve Kavanagh, the deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, said that "really inflamatory, inaccurate" messages on Twitter were mainly to blame for the disorder."

    Quoted from the article.

    Other sources, meanwhile, seem to be blaming blackberry more, and noting its much larger use/role in the riots.


    The only jump Mike appears to be making, is that of assuming Mr. Kavanagh felt that the larger role played by blackberry would be as much/more to blame for than twitter.

    I think that's reasonable, given that if both had an effect, than surely the one that was used much, much more had much more of an effect?


    Regardless, let's account for Mike's bias. He cares about technology. His intention in the article is:
    "It's not the technology that is to blame. The technology is just a tool, and if you block off one path, you can be damn sure that they'll figure out another path instead. "

    Blackberry or Twitter, pick your technology. As far as Mike and his bias are concerned, this can be a simple typo.

     

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  35.  
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    Wasim, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 5:47am

    I was shocked to find riots happened before Facebook and Twitter. Also, journalists and people used social media to report the events and the police can track down the theives this way too.

     

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  36.  
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    Nicedoggy, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 5:52am

    I like the inaccurate messages on twitter part, nowhere they blame the government for not being trustworthy, nowhere they are able to see that the government own actions and the loose of faith in the government is something serious, nowhere they seem to note that people have limits specially the young.

    People are not going out to the streets and venting their frustrations because they are happy, people don't mass together in large groups because they are greedy.

    We told them, this was going to happen at some point and people didn't listen, we told them there was and underlying frustration growing with how people perceive the government and they dismissed as nothing, now you get what you get and people think that the organization is dependent on the means of communication?

    Well try to do like Egypt, Iran, Syria and China and cut out the communication it won't stop the violence.

    Long gone are the days the government could do things and get away with wrong doing or trying to defend their institutions on the face of suspicious behavior, they shot and killed somebody and nobody seems to want to show what happened, although the police in the U.K. can be polite they are also ruthless, anybody who saw them knows that, just saying the police didn't do anything wrong is not enough, the government broke the trust people had on them and it appears it doesn't want to try to regain it back but to say that everything is fine.

    "Nothing to see here, move along!" is no acceptable anymore.
    They will need to do better then that if they don't want to have to deal with that kind of crap every year.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 6:07am

    Re:

    You are an IDIOT to compare the riots/protests in Egypt, etc to those in London/England.

    Those protests/riots in North Africa/Middle East had a unified protest message and wanted to invoke change in their respective countries.

    The scumbags that were doing the rioting in London wanted to do nothing more than Loot/Steal a new TV/Stereo and to trash local businesses.

     

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  38.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re:

    ou are an IDIOT to compare the riots/protests in Egypt, etc to those in London/England.

    Why?


    Those protests/riots in North Africa/Middle East had a unified protest message and wanted to invoke change in their respective countries.

    The scumbags that were doing the rioting in London wanted to do nothing more than Loot/Steal a new TV/Stereo and to trash local businesses.


    Since the next thing you do is to make exactly that comparison.

    The point here is that the technology is neutral. Those who want to shut the technology down shoyuld be aware that if they were successful (which may not be possible as Mubarak found out) then they would be reinforcing oppressive regimes all around the world.

    99% of what keeps us safe is public consent. 1% is the security forces.

     

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  39.  
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    best rhinoplasty, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 6:34am

    Don't blame it on the Technology

    I felt bad regarding the riots in London but the police are wrong in blaming it on the technology. After all, it is the basic right of the person to express no matter what the forum is.

     

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  40.  
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    The eejit (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re:

    Uh, you do realise that the catalyst for the rioting was the suspected murder of someone by a police officer?

     

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  41.  
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    The eejit (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: Re: And now the original cause that sparked riots is lost.

    Clearly someone has never seen Black Sheep.

     

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  42.  
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    New Mexico Mark, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 6:44am

    Shutting off services

    Of course, the downside of officials misleadingly blaming the technology is that you get folks like this Dutch politician who took to Twitter about this to ask why police don't just turn off Blackberry Messenger in London -- perhaps not realizing that shutting that channel of communications down wouldn't stop anything -- but likely would anger people even more.

    Even if it was possible in a less-controlling country, ya think that might just make things worse?

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/the-internet-was-acting-weird/

     

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  43.  
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    DCX2, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    "Evidence of rioters planning where to hit next spread quickly on the networks as the police struggled to keep up."

    Are you seriously telling me there wasn't one single officer with a BlackBerry? Why would you need to keep up with the perps if they're telling you their next target?

     

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  44.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There was a peaceful protest outside a police station of the officer who fatally shot the man.
    What followed has been criticised by the partner of the victim.
    They have used his shooting as a pitiful excuse to go on the rampage, looting and setting fire to peoples homes does not help anyone who wishes to protest against police actions, it only helps (albeit temporarily) the theives, and possibly the arsonists (if they follow the trend of getting gratification, sexual or otherwise, from watching whatever it is that they've set alight, burn)

    The communities that are being torn or burnt down are the ones losing out, and what's worse is that these rioters are doing all this on their own doorstep, so they are, in fact, only going to end up hurting themselves and those around them.

     

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  45.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 7:07am

    Re: And now the original cause that sparked riots is lost.

    Actually, we are allowed firearms, in certain circumstances provided the propper licenses are obtained and that the firearms and ammunition are stored in accordance to those licenses. However, hunting and gamekeeping and farming are rarely carried out from inside a cab.

     

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  46.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 7:18am

    Re:

    Next: babies will have their vocal chords taken out to prevent future riots.

     

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  47.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 7:32am

    Re: Pathetic

    Keep your devices rooted and under your control. Case solved. In some cases you might want to use them as a rock depending on the quality of the device ;)

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 7:36am

    Maybe now the U.K. government will take noticed that there are a very large group of people inside society that have lost the trust on the government and see no other way to change things then to resort to violent protest.

    They were told this was coming, they have been warned that people were getting frustrated and yet they did nothing to repair that image, they continued as if nothing needed to change, well there you got the answer from inside society.

    Not that I condone that crap, I think those people are idiots, they should instead use their anger to construct the tools that would really make a difference, like networks of people that come together to write their own laws and elect those who would pass those laws.

    But I do understand that a culture of violence from the government has shown some that violence is ok, killing someone and hiding all the details from the public that demanded to know what happened probably was not the best idea.

    The reason "really inflamatory(auto-correct: inflammatory), inaccurate" messages on Twitter" happens is because people don't trust them anymore and the government apparently don't want to own up to its own mistakes.

     

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  49.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    Are you blind? I remember when they first started implying (falsely) that video-games are responsible for violent acts. BOOOM. Titles were banned and forbidden all around.

    Can you see the connection? Can you see that it's not direct but it is direct? Imply or idirectly blame something then add censorship afterwards.

    Too much myopia my friend.

     

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  50.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    No? They haven't even implied in any way? They haven't even contacted RIM or considered the idea of spying on the BBM network? Say that again with a straight face ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: And now the original cause that sparked riots is lost.

    Funny kangaroo movie that one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re:---Used Goods Are Cheap.

    A famous automobile historian once commented on the discovery, circa 1921, that "there was no minimum price for a used car." The same principle applies to computers and Blackberries. People make a business of collecting used electronics, inexpensively refurbishing them, installing new software, and shipping them somewhere they can be resold. I ran across reports of children, young girls, working in Chinese electronics factories who did not have enough to eat, and who slept, a dozen or so of them, in a room resembling a broom closet, but who did have cellphones. By American standards, the cellphones were no doubt obsolete-- but they worked, and the price of Chinese radio bandwidth naturally reflects the income of the people competing to use it. Radio bandwidth is an inherently local commodity.

    In the case of Europe, the main point is that they don't have a whole lot of abusive telecommunications monopolies, the way we do in the United States.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Re:

    From what I gather it's the "i'm mad as hell and i'm not going to take it anymore" sentiment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    Jan Bilek (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    Yes... when they are going to imply, than I am going to disagree with that. But that police guy does not imply anything, directly or indirectly. Mere mention of some facts that can help understand the situation is not blaming... we have right to talk about reality, about changes that technologies bring to society, about tools that people including rioters use, about facts, right?.

    There are so many real problems that sometimes we see some wrongdoing everywhere. But we have to be careful about that - there is really thin line between freedom defender and tin-foil-hat freak.

    And BTW, please don't call me friend when you don't mean it. It feels like patronizing... and I am sure you would not want that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    wonder how this compares to a football riot? (a phenomenon i never could get my head around the logic of)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Disagree

    I gotta disagree with you on this one. The police spokeshole didn't blame the tool. He merely commented on how the riots were being organized. He didn't condemns or offer any opinion on the technology itself. He merely reported the facts of how the riots were forming.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    > Here are some quotes that I think Mike might
    > have been looking at when he was writing this:

    Not one of those quotes blames Blackberry/RIM for anything. It's just factual reporting on how the riots are being organized.

    Are the police/media supposed to ignore it in their reporting just because it's a fun new technology that we all enjoy?

    If the riots were being organized via pamphlets and the police noted that fact in their press conference, would that equate to 'blaming the written word' for the riots? Of course not. It would just be a factual account of how the riots were occurring.

    Same thing here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    > "Steve Kavanagh, the deputy assistant
    > commissioner of the Metropolitan police,
    > said that "really inflamatory, inaccurate"
    > messages on Twitter were mainly to blame
    > for the disorder."

    > Quoted from the article.

    It says the *messages* are to blame. Not Twitter itself.

    Yes, the messages people are writing and the people who are writing them are to blame. No one's suggesting that the Blackberry or Twitter services themselves have culpability.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    RzITex (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Ummmm

    One if by land, Two if by sea.
    Though all I could see was one giant blaze, so I'm assuming it all went by land?
    Terrible joke using a badly connected event, Yay internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    freak (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    I was wondering if someone was going to take that point.

    I agree that what the police are saying stops short of actually outright blaming twitter. But then, if that wasn't their intent, why even mention 'social media' or 'twitter'?


    Here, let me re-word it without mentioning them:

    Before:
    "really inflamatory, inaccurate" messages on Twitter were mainly to blame for the disorder. "Social media and other methods have been used to organise these levels of greed and criminality,
    "

    After:
    "really inflamatory, inaccurate" messages were mainly to blame for the disorder. "The group used many different communication methods to organize these levels of greed and criminality,"

    See? No blame. If you want to, you can even include, after 'communication methods': (Twitter and Blackberry messaging in particular were used extensively).




    And although the police might not be outright blaming twitter, there are plenty of people who are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    > No?

    No.

    > They haven't even implied in any way?

    No.

    > They haven't even contacted RIM or considered
    > the idea of spying on the BBM network?

    Of course they have. They have relevant information in a criminal investigation. No different than the cops contacting the phone company for information on someone who phoned in a bomb threat. Doesn't mean they're blaming telephones for the bomb threat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    > if that wasn't their intent,
    > why even mention 'social media'
    > or 'twitter'?

    Same reason they'd mention pamphlets, if the messages were on pamphlets. It's just being informative rather than vague.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    freak (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    They DID use pamphlets.

    They weren't mentioned at all.

    Actually, there was a mass printing of advice sheets that were handed out; I think those are much more interesting, because of examination of these might prove they were printed out days ahead of time.

    http://yfrog.com/z/h07mxcyzj

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    icon
    freak (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: didn't you jum the gun a little?

    Tottenham IS one of the places that was effected by the riot, right?

    The image was linked to me as an advice sheet handed out during the riots, and tottenham is a place in London according to google maps.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    Jesse Townley (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Here's more info on the Sun & other UK rags attacks on the technology:

    Oddly enough, this article mirrors (pun intended, The Mirror, get it? I kill me!) a fair amount of what's been said in this thread above.

    from International Business Times:

    UK Media: Riots Fueled by BlackBerry, Facebook, and Twitter

    UK newspapers The Daily Mail and The Sun have both gone on record blaming Twitter for enabling or escalating the violence that exploded in UK's Tottenham area over the weekend. The Daily Mail "fears that violence was fanned by Twitter " and referred to the looting as a "Twitter riot" in one photograph's caption...

    What none of these stories go so far as to say is that mobile technology and social media are common factors creating an uncomfortable resemblance between criminal riots and the kinds of demonstrations that marked the Arab Spring uprisings. While the difference between a protest and a riot may be largely a matter of whether or not one identifies with the ruling political administration, it is undeniable that the unique features of social media and wireless technology make both types of mass action more effective.

    This would certainly not be the first time that The Sun and The Daily Mail have used technology as a handy scapegoat to appeal to an older, conservative, and/ or technologically illiterate readership. Of course, all three of the media companies mentioned have a significant presence on Twitter and Facebook -- and it's worth betting that they count a number of BlackBerry users among their (voice mail hacking?) employees.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/194883/20110809/uk-media-riots-fueled-by-blackberry-fa cebook-and-twitter.htm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    komakino, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 9:11pm

    double speech

    It's funny to see that when the riots are fueled by twitter,facebook, blackberry in other countries like Egypt, Lybia, etc. in order to suit western interests and promote the so called 'regime changes', then those media instruments are being praised by the Establishment. But when these 'weapons' turn towards them...then of course they are EVIL.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2011 @ 4:35am

    Re: Re:

    No, it's the 'look at everyone else getting free stuff and the police doing bugger all, I want some of that' attitude

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    icon
    Butcherer79 (profile), Aug 10th, 2011 @ 7:44am

    Re: double speech

    "so called 'regime change'"

    There's no 'so called' about it, these African disputes/Riots (in various African countries not just Egypt) are the result of the public wanting the end of 30 and 40 year dictatorships.

    Though I agree, the west are incredibly quick to jump in if they think they will be fiscully rewarded.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    Butcherer79 (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 4:34am

    That Gaddafi fella is a riot!

    Apparently Gaddafi reckons that Cameron should now step down, so some of the people above may be correct in their comparison of rioters looting and stealing for personal gain in London (and various other cities now) and the insurgent struggle against the regime/dictatorship that is currently happening in Libya:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8694505/UK-riots-Gaddafi-calls-on-David-Camer on-to-step-down-over-rioting.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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