I don’t know about you, but I found out about the London Riots through a tweet. It really saddens me that the widespread violence and destruction in London were orchestrated through BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which is a messaging system for BlackBerry devices allowing you to chat with individuals or groups. Technology seems to have failed us when it can be easily manipulated as a tool for harming others.
Then a shining light appears and sadness fades to joy when I read an article by Erica Swallow, Mashable, “London riots: Social media mobilizes riot cleanup.” Did you know that riot cleanup efforts, volunteers, and in-kind donations are actually being organized in London through Twitter and Facebook? Yes, yes, yes! Technology and social media will be a tool used for good! This is an immediate answer to a problem delivered through the very same type of tools that were used in the first place. Today, technology and social media triumph as they bring people together to help instead of hurt.