5 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2012
Date Written: May 8, 2012
Riots broke out in Vancouver following the final game of the 2011 Stanley Cup. The local Canadian team lost and in response many Vancouverites injured other citizens and caused significant property damage. People wielding cell phones and portable cameras recorded much of the violence and destruction. Their photos and videos were subsequently uploaded to Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere.
Citizens’ decisions to capture and report on community-based events compose much of social media’s core DNA. In the Vancouver case, the uploaded images and movies were used to shame and ‘out’ individuals alleged to have committed riotous actions. In what follows, I identify how social media can be used for vigilantism, for ‘aggravated shaming’, for damaging community integrity, and the long-term consequences that such actions have on individuals. I then suggest some technical and social mechanisms that might defray the worst effects of social media-enhanced mob behavior.
Keywords: social media, riots, police, surveillance, internet, justice, shame
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