Santa Clauses brought to Trafalgar Square, London, by social media
What is to be done? Should governments be allowed to shut down social media networks if they feel public safety is threatened by flash mobs? The British prime minister proposed doing just that during the riots. Or should freedom of expression never be limited? Focusing on social media may be the wrong tactic. As one writer observed, technologies don’t have political viewpoints. Social media are not to blame for criminal flash mobs; it is the people who use flash mobs for criminal purposes.
Image credit: AP Photo/Sang Tan
The Evolution of Flash Mobs from Pranks to Crime and Revolution
Read how the flash mob has changed in recent years.
(Source: San Francisco Examiner, August 28, 2011)
Teenage Flash Mob Robberies on the Rise
Find out how social media have been used in crime.
(Source: Fox News, June 18, 2011)
U.K. Prime Minister Suggests ‘Pre-Crime’ Blocking of Social Media
Read the leader of the British government’s response to the issue of social media and crime.
(Source: Wired, August 11, 2011)
English Riots: Social Media Were “Force for Good”
Read a defense of social media.
(Source: BBC News UK Politics, September 15, 2011)