It is hard to ignore the influential role that social media played inthe reporting of the riots in London this week. As the story unfolded, it was clear that the social application Blackberry Messenger (BBM) played a large role in the making and organization of the riots. With Google mapping the riot locations and the on the ground news spreading rapidly through Twitter and Facebook, social media’s influence was seen and heard throughout the events.
Although social media has started to be blamed for the riots, it appears as though it will be a large part of the clean-up efforts. The twitter account @RiotCleanup has gained 87,000 followers overnight and is constantly tweeting out clean-up times and information. In addition, a Tumblr blog popped up during the riots dedicated to catching looters: Catchalooter. The use of social media for the riots seems to have come full circle.
It is because of social media that both Londoners and people across the world have been able to work together to help assist in the clean-up. Social media’s role in this event is likely a sign of how the ways of social action will develop in the future.