I’ve just seen on the news that David Cameron has come up with the rather wonderful idea of blocking social media access to fools who have used it to organise riots etc. Now I’m sure everyone has had the same thought, but surely just blocking access to Facebook, Twitter etc doesn’t solve the problem. It just stops everyone being able to see that there is a problem.
This is an issue that most Social Media Managers have been dealing with for years in business. CEO’s and senior managers are all too keen to just block access to something in case it has a negative affect, instead of investigating it and seeing how it can be used as a useful tool.
Yes, people have used Social Media sites to organise where to meet for the riots, but by posting this on Twitter and Facebook the police have been able to react to these and take action. They’ve also been able to catch those who have shown their intellect by bragging about taking part and what they’ve stolen.
However, the single biggest thing that people should focus on, as a result of this whole situation is #riotcleanup. Where as some people have used twitter to cause chaos. The majority of tweeters have used this hash tag to unite and create a movement much stronger than the rioters could ever dream of.
One tweet I saw, explained the situation perfectly: @debcha Urban rioting existed before SMS/social media. You know what didn’t? Large-scale community cleanups, spontaneously organized within hours.