Is technology to blame for the riots?

The recent riots here in the UK have scared many and caused the destruction of property, livelihoods and homes. The media has been quick to blame technology – “social networking sites” and BlackBerry handsets are mentioned time and time again in new bulletins and reports.

Yes, technology allows for people to communicate and congregate faster. Yes, mobile phones have been used during these riots. Are they solely to blame ? No.


There’s a number of factors here. I’ve already blogged about it personally, but the minority doing this seem to have a consequence-free life. They want free stuff and, with little or no discipline at home or amongst their peers, they go and get it.

Mobile technology has been used positively though. A riot cleanup campaign has already started on Twitter and we were particularly impressed with Mark Stone from Sky News, who filmed events as they happened on his iPhone. He went onto the streets as the riots happened around his home, asking rioters, “Are you having fun?” and “Are you proud of what you’re doing?” Some examples below..

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXcI-NL3Tro’]

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gqj1N9qeWXI’]

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG83g19mtog’]

Link – ThisIsLondon

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