Social media shows its dark side
Posted By Andy Smith
Sunday morning is usually a time reserved for a bit of peace and quiet. What you don’t expect to wake up to is utter chaos sparked by bitter rioting on the Tottenham High Road.
What was initially intended to be a peaceful protest by the parents of Mark Duggan soon erupted into violence, with some commentators saying the unrest had been organised via social media.
Watching the scenes of devastation on TV, I can only begin to imagine how the residents of Tottenham must be feeling today. I’m not the first, and I know I won’t be the last, to say that my heart goes out to all who live there and the innocent people who were caught up in it all.
It’s depressing to see how technology that we’ve grown to love has been used to manipulate an inexcusable situation. After the positive press of the Arab Spring, this situation reveals a darker side of social media.
What’s astonishing is the power of social media. The speed at which information can be spread, and the reach it can achieve, is incomparable to any other. As messages and posts were used to garner widespread support, it’s clear to see how the situation escalated as quickly as it did.
With Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh threatening to prosecute tweeters, a spotlight is shining once again on the seemingly unpolicable nature of social media. The question is: when will the law catch up with the digital age?