Did BlackBerry Messenger, Social Media Fuel London Riots?

This weekend witnessed one of the most violent and disturbing riots in the recent history of UK, properties were burnt, looted and many people got injured including a handful of policemen.

The riot, it seems, was initially speculated to have sparked from spontaneous outrage of a section of the crowd against the police but, now it has been claimed that the riot was, in fact, orchestrated using Blackberry’s BBM messaging service.

Adding more to this theory, many commentators, as well as police personals are also blaming social networking sites such as Twitter for facilitating a platform for the rioters to coordinate and organise their actions.

‘Social media and other methods have been used to organise these levels of greed and criminality,” said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Kavanagh in an exclusive statement to BBC Radio 4's Today on Monday, Metro, UK reports.

Even a simple Twitter search with “‘tottenham bbm” can establish the fact how people extensively used the BlackBerry Messenger to spread information regarding the riots.

“It appears that BBM messages have been circulating since Thursday’s shooting of Duggan by the police. These have fuelled the anger of the youths that have taken to the streets,” Jonathan Akwue wrote in his The Urban Mashup blog. [Image courtesy reuters.com]