Violent Flash Mobs organized through social media


by Evo
Tags: flash, media, mobs, organized, social, violent
Evo
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Aug8-11, 07:01 PM
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We discussed this yesterday in chat.

http://news.yahoo.com/london-rioters...054921704.html

It seems the riot was fueled by social media, people that had no interest in what happened came in from other areas. Looks like a new trend in mobs and riots caused or worsened by social media.
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Greg Bernhardt
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Aug9-11, 12:36 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
http://news.yahoo.com/london-rioters...054921704.html

It seems the riot was fueled by social media, people that had no interest in what happened came in from other areas. Looks like a new trend in mobs and riots caused or worsened by social media.
Just want to make a quick comment that in my city of Milwaukee, we've been having problems with youths organizing violent mobs via social media. At our 4th of July fireworks we had a mob destroy a 7-11 and then proceed to beat up 20-30 firework watchers. Also just last week we had a mob of 200 youths causing mayhem at our state fair which sent 30 to the hospital. It's a huge issue here. Social media is rearing it's ugly head.
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Aug9-11, 12:39 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
Just want to make a quick comment that in my city of Milwaukee, we've been having problems with youths organizing violent mobs via social media. At our 4th of July fireworks we had a mob destroy a 7-11 and then proceed to beat up 20-30 firework watchers. Also just last week we had a mob of 200 hundred youths causing mayhem at our state fair which sent 30 to the hospital. It's a huge issue here. Social media is rearing it's ugly head.
WTF. At least in the '70s there was a reason to protest. What can we do to stop this sort of thing? It's giving the internet a bad name.

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Aug9-11, 12:43 PM
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Violent Flash Mobs organized through social media


Quote Quote by dlgoff View Post
WTF. At least in the '70s there was a reason to protest. What can we do to stop this sort of thing? It's giving the internet a bad name.
It's becoming a widespread problem. Philly now has problems too.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14466369
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Aug9-11, 12:50 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
It's becoming a widespread problem. Philly now has problems too.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14466369
I saw this on TV this morning here. This bothers me, but if that's what it takes, okay?

There have even been legislative efforts to criminalise flash mobs in recent months.
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Aug9-11, 01:04 PM
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How can this be unconstitutional if it is criminal?

The Cleveland City Council passed a bill to make it illegal to use social media to organize a violent and disorderly flash mob, though the mayor vetoed the measure after the ACLU of Ohio promised it would be unconstitutional.
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/ar...--+Latest+news
jtbell
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Aug9-11, 01:10 PM
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Don't we already have laws against inciting violence and organizing criminal activity in general?
turbo
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Aug9-11, 01:10 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
How can this be unconstitutional if it is criminal?
Tricky question. The right to assemble and associate freely is something that the ACLU will defend all the way to the SC, especially since banning flash mobs carries an assumption of guilt - that the mob will be violent, and there is prior intent of committing violence. As I said, tricky.
dlgoff
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Aug9-11, 01:19 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
I've started a new thread on this disturbing trend.
Good move.


Quote Quote by Evo View Post
How can this be unconstitutional if it is criminal?



http://www.boston.com/news/nation/ar...--+Latest+news
Sounds right to me.
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Aug9-11, 01:20 PM
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Quote Quote by jtbell View Post
Don't we already have laws against inciting violence and organizing criminal activity in general?
Is there something that needs to be changed if social media is concerned?

Quote Quote by turbo View Post
Tricky question. The right to assemble and associate freely is something that the ACLU will defend all the way to the SC, especially since banning flash mobs carries an assumption of guilt - that the mob will be violent, and there is prior intent of committing violence. As I said, tricky.
But as jt stated how can
"laws against inciting violence and organizing criminal activity in general", suddenly be unconstitutional? Is it specifically including the method being used that they oppose? Because if they are tweeting to meet and do illegal activities, that's not protected AFAIK.

I don't quite get what the legal issue is.

Quote Quote by dlgoff View Post
Sounds right to me.
Don, can you clarify, do you think the ACLU is right or wrong?
dlgoff
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Aug9-11, 01:32 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Don, can you clarify, do you think the ACLU is right or wrong?
This time I think they are wrong as bodily harm shouldn't be tolerated. But in other times, the ACLU do have some good points. IMO anyway.
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Aug9-11, 01:32 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
But as jt stated how can "laws against inciting violence and organizing criminal activity in general", suddenly be unconstitutional? Is it specifically including the method being used that they oppose? Because if they are tweeting to meet and do illegal activities, that's not protected AFAIK.

I don't quite get what the legal issue is.
When a mob of sports nuts hits the streets after a particularly big loss (or win!) there can often be violence. We've seen it happen too many times in the US. The UK is well-known for soccer-related violence, too.

Flash mobs can occur for a number of reasons, including premieres, street performance by artists, etc. It is not cut-and-dried if there was intent for this crowd to turn violent. Here's a link to a multi-event a little over a week ago that turned violent.

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?se...les&id=8276337
drankin
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Aug9-11, 01:36 PM
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What's the difference between using social media or having a list of phone numbers of people who are into "rioting"?

I take issue with the idea that social media "fuels" the behaviour. It's just a means.
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Aug9-11, 01:38 PM
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Quote Quote by drankin View Post
What's the difference between using social media or having a list of phone numbers of people who are into "rioting"?

I take issue with the idea that social media "fuels" the behaviour. It's just a means.
The good thing about it is that everything is documented. :) Easier to get to the perps.
Evo
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Aug9-11, 01:39 PM
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But I'm referring to social media to specifically commit crimes and/or violence, not accidental mobs.

In April, about 20 teenagers entered G-Star Raw, a high-end men's clothing store in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of the District of Columbia, and stole about $20,000 worth of merchandise despite employees' efforts to grab the apparel back, store manager Greg Lennon said. D.C. police have investigated leads but have not made arrests in the case.

Lennon said he later saw Twitter postings, apparently written after the robbery, that referenced the theft, with one person describing having been in the store and making plans to come back.

The National Retail Federation said 10 percent of 106 companies it surveyed reported being targeted in the last year by groups of thieves using flash mob tactics.

"Retailers are raising red flags about criminal flash mobs, which are wreaking havoc on their business, causing concerns about the safety of their customers and employees, and directly impacting their bottom line," the federation said in a report, which advises retailers to monitor social media networks and report planned heists to the police.

That's exactly what Lennon does. He says he checks his store's Facebook page to see who's visiting, and monitors Twitter for any reference to his store and its merchandise.
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/ar..._cover/?page=2
Evo
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Aug9-11, 01:41 PM
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Quote Quote by drankin View Post
What's the difference between using social media or having a list of phone numbers of people who are into "rioting"?

I take issue with the idea that social media "fuels" the behaviour. It's just a means.
It's that they can *instantly* send the message to thousands of people, they can *instantly* control the movement of the entire crowd as the criminal activity occurs in order to elude police. They can *instantly* name specific targets and call for backup. This is making it almost impossible for police to be effective. *That's the difference*.
mheslep
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Aug9-11, 01:58 PM
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Mob violence is the fundamental issue here and hence nothing new; the technology component incidental it seems to me. Thus the solution is also traditional.
http://video.foxnews.com/v/video-emb...=1029359724001

Quote Quote by Curtis Sliwa
... The cops can’t be punching doughnuts out there. They gotta be busting their shoes and the way they do that is give a few wooden shampoos, a few attitudinal readjustments out there where they’re sucking concrete, outside of the mall, outside of the store – and you’ll see how quick that antisocial behavior will stop because that’s the language they universally understand.
That's unfortunate but, when the situation escalates beyond the control of traditional police power, required. Its a simple choice. Either choose uncontrolled mob violence which if unchecked will escalate or choose police controlled violence.

An absent police response, the violence in London should be met with some of the same self defense used in the '92 LA riots.
Evo
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Aug9-11, 02:06 PM
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The thing mheslep, the crowds can form, commit crimes, and be gone before police arrive. That's what makes this sort of thing so hard to control.

Did you read the articles? Did you read mob crime attacks on stores finished in 5 minutes?


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