Social Networks Used To Incite British Violence
August 10, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
LONDON, Aug. 10 (UPI) — Rioters used online social networks like Facebook to orchestrate much of the urban violence that has gripped Britain for four days, The Guardian reported.
The British newspaper said a 20-year old woman has been charged after allegedly posting an invitation on Facebook to a “riot” in Wakefield, England. West Yorkshire Police said the woman was charged under the 2007 Serious Offenses Act, and was scheduled for a magistrate’s hearing Aug. 24.
Two teenagers were remanded to jail in Scotland after being charged with using Facebook to “incite riots” in Glasgow and Dundee.
The Guardian said the arrests came after intensive surveillance of social networking sites by police forces across Britain. Several services, including Twitter, Facebook and the BlackBerry smartphone messaging service were used to incite much of the violence, the newspaper said.
Facebook users initially complained about one of the Scottish pages, which was closed down by the Web company before police made an arrest.
The Guardian earlier reported that much of the unrest over the past four nights had been organized using BBM — BlackBerry Messenger, a PIN-protected instant message system only accessible to BlackBerry users.
The newspaper said it had been monitoring BlackBerry Messenger broadcasts to discover real-time updates and predictions about future incidents
The newspaper also called for citizens to report violence to The Guardian via BBM, using the BBM name “Paul” and the PIN number 22416EC1.