Facebook used to organize UK riots, clean them up

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.

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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

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

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.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

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8 comments
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  • Predator Drones

    I hope Obama calls in the Predator drones to deal with this insurrection. If it makes sense in Libya, it makes sense here. :)
    Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Facebook used to organize UK riots, clean them up

      @facebook@... Thanks for the laugh, you've brightened my day!
      xplorer1959
  • RE: Facebook used to organize UK riots, clean them up

    Good to see someone's doing something positive. I'm proud to be English, but my confidence has certainly taken a few hits these past few days.
    Imrhien
  • RE: Facebook used to organize UK riots, clean them up

    Someone needs to keep up with the news from the UK. The clean-up citizen squads were arranged via Twitter, the mobs organised using Black Berry Messenger. (BBM is favoured by "disaffected yoof" because it is a damn sight more secure than either Twitter or Facebook.) Facebook was used by the rioters to spread misinformation precisely because it is inherantly readable by the police.
    bargeemike
  • RE: Facebook used to organize UK riots, clean them up

    ...oh, and the major citizens clean-up effort was in London, not Liverpool.
    bargeemike
  • WRONG!!!!

    No it can't be Facebook, Zack has already fingered Blackberry - obviously the choice for unemployed youth ;-)

    You know who organised the riots?

    People.

    The tools they used really don't matter, unless you welcome a police state.
    tonymcs@...
  • RE: Facebook used to organize UK riots, clean them up

    Funny, aren't the technology companies rich? Apple is richer than God. Facebook founder is richer than Jesus. If the protesters were genuine, they would be boycotting technology. Instead they are looting more technology. A bunch of n'er do wells getting drunk hurting good people and breaking stuff. Fake, fake, fake.
    JB Tucson
  • RE: Facebook used to organize UK riots, clean them up

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