London's Burning – Again!
With the recent explosion of violence in Tottenham, just how large a role has social media played in the resulting events? As the economy heads for a double-dip, the USA loses its credit rating and the Euro is about to collapse you would think we had enough to deal with. But apparently not, not for those who somehow have decided it is a good idea to destroy our communities with senseless acts of violence and disrespect -The reason for this outburst of violence? – A police officer opened fire on a civilian (although he had a gun there is no evidence to say he was using it in a threatening way) and killed him. A second excuse that has emerged is the lack of employment for the younger generations of today. They want to be heard, they are frustrated (a hint of sarcasm intended). Well, taking these 2 reasons into account there seems to be an unbalance in the actions taken as a result. Let’s consider Newton’s Third Law – ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’ – Doesn’t really fit in this case. In what educated mind is it a good idea to set fire to a city? – There is no logic, but perhaps I have hit the nail on the head. These people are not educated, they likely have little respect for anything anyway, oh, and I imagine they would never have bothered looking for a job regardless of circumstances. They have simply found an almost OK enough reason to behave like yobs. Rant over, I do wonder what part social media has played in the recent events in Tottenham. How has this violence spread to other parts of England? Is social media to blame? Of course we rely on the news and newspapers to keep us informed of current affairs both locally and worldwide, but has the news become a glory hunter’s playground? It is all just about ratings? Let us now compare two forms of the same news broadcast –
- Newsreader at desk, stating facts of the events.
- Newsreader at scene, eyewitness reports, image and video, drama.
- Once an offensive word has been used X amount of times, a ‘yellow alert’ is flagged. Then there needs to be an investigation into the content around this feed.
- Social media working with the authorities to alert of a possible event / danger evidenced from topics on Twitter.
- It allows a sense of community to be built up with people uniting against the violence.
- It is an outlet for people to vent their frustrations about something that most people feel powerless to do anything about.
- It is a very easy platform to aid in the co-ordination of an event such as this in a widespread area without ever having to meet face-to-face.
- There are such a vast number of people on Twitter (175million worldwide) that one person could reach the masses at the click of a button.