Case Study of the London Riots

The recent London riots’ has sparked interesting discussions in social media. This case study shows how social media and smartphones helped to proliferate mass crime on various streets of the city.

Social media served as media coverage of the rioting on the streets. It was the key to forming and shaping opinions and discussions by the general public. The riots didn’t reflect the wider community opinion of dissent on Twitter and Facebook.

Driven by the need to belong and be significant these seemingly random riots continued.  For Blackberry, it was a disaster for their brand with Blackberry Messenger (BBM) becoming a key tool for rioters to organize, communicate and distribute anonymously and discretely within groups.

As quickly as these riots took place over social media, so did mobilizing a cleanup afterwards. With no trust in the ability of centralized authority to either protect or clean up the community, Londoner’s turned to social media to spread the news.


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