Facebook used to organize UK riots, clean them up

Summary:Facebook is being blamed in part for helping organize the riots in the UK. At the same time, citizens have teamed up on the social network to clean up after the disturbances.

Scotland Yard has vowed to track down and arrest protesters who posted "really inflammatory, inaccurate" messages on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The platforms are being blamed in part for helping rioters in the UK organize.

On the flipside, the social networks have also been used to help organize clean ups after the disturbances. In Liverpool, 21-year-old bartender Charles Jupiter set up a "Liverpool Clean Up" Facebook page that brought about 100 volunteers onto the streets this morning to sweep up piles of broken glass and debris.

"I thought, 'Not in my city'," Jupiter told CBS News. "People were posting, 'I'm embarrassed to be English, I'm embarrassed to be from London or Liverpool.' I reposted and said, 'I'm not. That's why I'm going out there to help clean up.'"

The volunteers followed the same path taken by the rioters on Monday night who smashed bus stops and set fire to cars. A supermarket even supplied the groups with brushes, shovels, and binbags after hearing about their effort. If violence strikes again tonight, the volunteers said they will go back to doing the same work tomorrow morning.

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Topics: Collaboration, Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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