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“Do-it-yourself justice”:
considerations of social media use
in a crisis situation
The case of the 2011 Vancouver riots
IS...
Plan
1. The Case
2. Scope of the paper
3. Methodology
4. Results
5. Discussion
22 July 2013
The case
• 15 June 2011,Vancouver (Canada): Ice hockey
Stanley Cup final between Vancouver & Boston
• Vancouver is losing:...
Social media are used to ‘cover’ the
riots:
42 July 2013
• Citizens witnessing the events
• Rioters taking pictures of the...
Scope of the paper
52 July 2013
• Examine the news media narratives
around the time of the riots
• Gain an insight into th...
Methodology:
Discourse media analysis & grounded theory
• The main media narratives were collected
through Internet with a...
Results: The 6 coding categories (1/3)
1. An unexpected source of information for the
investigations
“Pictures, videos and...
Results: The 6 coding categories (2/3)
3. An involuntary empowerment of citizens in the
process of identification
“And the...
5. The enforcement of vigilante justice
“Vigilante retribution delivered via social media and online “name and
shame” site...
Discussion
 The use of SN raises awareness of how some ethical & moral
values, once taken for granted, have become moot p...
Joint Research Centre
Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen
Digital Citizen Security Unit
Security,...
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Do-It-Yourself Justice: Considerations of Social Media Use in a Crisis Situation: The Case of the 2011 Vancouver Riots

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Presentation of Caroline Rizza, Ângela Guimarães Pereira, Michel Chiaramello and Paula Curvelo on the topic "Do-It-Yourself Justice: Considerations of Social Media
Use in a Crisis Situation: The Case of the 2011 Vancouver" at ISCRAM2013
Riots

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Do-It-Yourself Justice: Considerations of Social Media Use in a Crisis Situation: The Case of the 2011 Vancouver Riots

  1. 1. “Do-it-yourself justice”: considerations of social media use in a crisis situation The case of the 2011 Vancouver riots ISCRAM Conference May 15th 2013, Baden-Baden Dr C. Rizza, Dr. Â. Guimarães Pereira, & P. Curvelo
  2. 2. Plan 1. The Case 2. Scope of the paper 3. Methodology 4. Results 5. Discussion 22 July 2013
  3. 3. The case • 15 June 2011,Vancouver (Canada): Ice hockey Stanley Cup final between Vancouver & Boston • Vancouver is losing: riots start & last all night long 2 July 2013 3
  4. 4. Social media are used to ‘cover’ the riots: 42 July 2013 • Citizens witnessing the events • Rioters taking pictures of themselves • Local authority officers identifying rioters after the events • Vancouver citizens helping local authorities identify rioters, • Vancouver citizens enforcing justice by themselves
  5. 5. Scope of the paper 52 July 2013 • Examine the news media narratives around the time of the riots • Gain an insight into the imaginaries behind the use of social media What the media echoed and commented on, in relation to ethics and social networks.
  6. 6. Methodology: Discourse media analysis & grounded theory • The main media narratives were collected through Internet with a specific attention to on- line media and blogs • Data was coded by 2 persons • Coding categories have been chosen inductively • The results are presented following 6 coding categories 62 July 2013 “The construction of news is most of all a reconstruction of available discourses” (van Dick, 1983)
  7. 7. Results: The 6 coding categories (1/3) 1. An unexpected source of information for the investigations “Pictures, videos and posts detailing every step of the riot began to appear on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter within minutes of the first signs of trouble. The quantity of digital evidence already posted to the internet is enormous and police believe it will help them track down those responsible for the violence” 2. Limitations and risks of error in the investigation process “After all, snapshots don’t always tell the whole story. “Facebook has provided an almost bottomless trove of information to police. Even when encouraged by justified popular outrage, law enforcement needs to use that power with care” 72 July 2013
  8. 8. Results: The 6 coding categories (2/3) 3. An involuntary empowerment of citizens in the process of identification “And the Web-based flood of information has upended the usual police investigative process, with people identifying suspects and sending photographic evidence before police even know what crimes may have taken place. “In a routine case we have a clear crime and then take steps to identify the suspect and compile evidence. In these cases, we have names of suspects before we know exactly what they did and where they did it. (…) said Sgt. Weidman” 4. Social media’s technical potential in supporting mob behavior “The massive online reaction to the Vancouver riots is unprecedented and potentially as ground-breaking as WikiLeaks.(…) The mob mentality has moved into cyberspace for the first time” 8 2 July 2013
  9. 9. 5. The enforcement of vigilante justice “Vigilante retribution delivered via social media and online “name and shame” sites is delivering what may well be life sentences to riot participants while the legal system is just beginning to work its way toward due process” “Kotylak and his family had to flee their home last Thursday night after their address appeared online, and threats started coming in” “The online forums have gotten pretty ugly. It enables a whole dark side of our psyche to go public …”. 6. A communication tool with public in crisis situations 92 July 2013 Results: The 6 coding categories (3/3)
  10. 10. Discussion  The use of SN raises awareness of how some ethical & moral values, once taken for granted, have become moot points 102 July 2013 • The quality of social media material and legitimacy of its use in law enforcement and charge processes  Unverifiable quality vs. Fairness & justice • Unregulated empowerment  Institutional Unpreparedness vs. Integrity, responsibility, accountability & fairness. • Social media vigilantes  Unintended do it yourself justice vs. Fairness & justice • Who decides what an issue is  Unintended do it yourself society vs. Justice, responsibility & accountability.
  11. 11. Joint Research Centre Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen Digital Citizen Security Unit Security, Ethics in Information & Communication Technology Action Caroline.rizza@telecom-paristech.fr Thank you!

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