agency:2 - cleaning up london after the riots using social media

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If there was ever any sign of the importance of social media as a form of communication then the riots in London, Birmingham and Liverpool have provided it. …

If there was ever any sign of the importance of social media as a form of communication then the riots in London, Birmingham and Liverpool have provided it.

This article explores how social media was used
as a way to share up-to-date news, offer support and as a way for communities to join together and start the clean-up operation.

More in: Business , Technology
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  • 1. Cleaning up after the riots using social mediaIf there was ever any sign of the importance of social media as a form of communication then theriots in London and other cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool have provided it.Social media is a neutral tool – and though it has been used by the minority to instigate violence ithas also been shown to be an incredible way to share up-to-date news, a way to offer support andnow, today, as a way for communities to join together and start the clean-up operation after the lastfew nights of destruction.The ways in which social platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow messages to be quickly sharedbetween large groups in real time and for instant communication to happen, have been invaluableto cleanup organisers who need to quickly and efficiently gather together followers in the aftermathof the rioting.On Twitter people attending the clean up sessions are using the hashtags #londoncleanup and #riotcleanup to organise themselves. A Twitter account RiotCleanUp was setup last night providing a vital source of information for people looking to help rebuild city centres.The account tweeted places and times where community clear-ups were happening and also postedoffers of help and resources. The @RiotCleanUp account has already gained more than 55,000followers in less than 14 hours.It quickly gained the attention of celebrities such as Rio Ferdinand, Simon Pegg and Tinchy Stryderwho tweeted about it. TV presenter Clare Balding wrote: “I’ve been trying to find some ray ofsunshine amid the chaos, anger & violence. @riotcleanup can allow Londoners to show our realcharacter.” Comedian Dave Gorman commented: “Went to bed depressed by the news. Now feelingstrangely emotional as I read about @riotcleanup #riotcleanup Amazing.”It wasn’t just Twitter that was being used to mobilise communities. One Facebook group called “postriot clean-up: let’s help London” had gained more than 7,000 followers at the time of writing withpeople offering help and posting about how people can donate to charities who are supportingthose affected.Other platforms have also been used to help people know what is going on. With many rumoursabout what has happened within London this Google My Map attempts to map verified locationsthat have been affected by the London rioting and looting.You can also check out this London Riots Clean Up Storify created by Mashable to see how the storyis unfolding.August 2011 www.agency2.co.uk 0207 775 5608