Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tweeting During the London Riots (2011)

The Guardian [UK]
7 December 2011

How Twitter was used to spread – and knock down – rumours during the riots
From a tiger roaming Primrose Hill to the London Eye burning, startling reports spread fast on Twitter with the ease of a click

Jonathan Richards and Paul Lewis

Rumour is a pipe blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures, wrote Shakespeare. In the age of Twitter we can now add: and by the ease of clicking "retweet".

Whether it was the tantalising possibility of a tiger padding about in Primrose Hill or army tanks gathering in the City of London, some Britons proved themselves remarkably willing to share all manner of startling reports on Twitter during the August riots, whatever their accuracy. But what is perhaps more interesting is how Twitter was also used to disprove many rumours. [...]