Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Online communities provoke action in face of UK riots.

News of the recent protests across the UK has spread like wildfire over social networking sites, showcasing the reactions of a shocked nation. Sites like twitter and facebook have been used by protesters to organise riots, however it enabled police to track their movements, who have also said that they will prosecute those who used Smartphones to co-ordinate rioting and looting.

Conversely, online communities are uniting in a movement to reclaim the streets. @RiotCleanUp was set up by artist Dan Thompson – with #Riotcleanup trending on twitter, co-ordinating communities to help the dispossessed in the aftermath of the riots. ‘The Londonist’ also reported that up to 300 residents in Enfield had joined together to deter looters following a twitter campaign. Online communities are responding to the youtube video of a student hurt in the riots who was robbed as he lay bleeding on the street, with the lovely, while DARE have created which is aggregating some of the positive ways Londoners are pulling together.

The Great British sense of humour has been in evidence too, with #OperationCupofTea demonstrating a light-hearted ‘make love, not war’ attitude, whilst cafĂ© chain The Breakfast Club are trending on twitter with #hugsnotthugs, offering a free cup of coffee for anyone who gives their staff a hug.

In the commercial sector, businesses such as JD Sports and Currys have been badly affected by the looting. Gumtree and eBay have vowed to assist police following concerns that goods stolen by looters may appear on their sites.

Will be keeping track of more positive reactions over the next few days.

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