General Question

ninjacolin's avatar

Will you join the FB group to try to help stop the riots?

Asked by ninjacolin (14246points) August 8th, 2011

Reports say groups of rioters loosely organized themselves with the aid of social services. What are the chances that these same services could be used to undo some of the violence? Think it’s worth a shot?

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40 Answers

laureth's avatar

Probably not. It’s not that I’m in favor of the riots, it’s that there are a lot of Facebook groups for and against different issues, and I’m not sure they have done much good. It’s my belief that people join such things, mostly for the false belief that they’re making a difference, and the warm fuzzy feeling that they’ve done something about a problem and can go about their day.

ninjacolin's avatar

Is it better to do nothing?
I’m so not a pessimist. It’s tough when you understand the value of marketing.
If social services have no power then why would they have organized via these services in the first place? There must be some amount of power there.

rebbel's avatar

If not even the family’s (of the killed man) call to stop the violence has any effect I doubt that a call through social media will work, how sympathetic it may be.
(Most of) these riotters are, in my opinion, just waiting for these occasion to arise and then they are not stopped easily notice the many police personel that is on the streets, they don’t seem to be bothered by their presence….., they are not even bothered (or too stupid) to wear masks or hoods, most of them.

laureth's avatar

@ninjacolin re “Is it better to do nothing?”

No. But it’s not worse, either.

ninjacolin's avatar

I mean we do have a chance to put this to the test.

ninjacolin's avatar

And I’m all about amateur science experiments.

Blackberry's avatar

Even if a facebook group helped start it, people are already out there and another group saying “Hey, not a good idea, guys, go back inside” isn’t going to do much in my opinion.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Why would you want to stop a riot?

ninjacolin's avatar


People are moved by words and ideas.
They are never moved by anything else (unless physically, of course)

The only other thing in the whole world that can stop someone from rioting besides the police and military is the idea that they should stop rioting. Why do you think leaders of organizations condemn evil works committed from their alleged supporters?

People are convinced to act and cease action by other people.

laureth's avatar

If we were to do this experiment, @ninjacolin, how would you account for a control? You’d need two riots, one with a Facebook group begging them to stop, and one without, to see which riot lasted longer. And then, when they end, it would help to take a statistically random sample of rioters and poll them, to see if they were familiar with any Facebook groups that were anti-riot, and if they took that group into consideration when deciding to go back home instead of loot another cop car. Where could we get a grant for this?

ninjacolin's avatar

lol, you fail at geurrilla marketing, @laureth

laureth's avatar

Failure at marketing, especially to primates, is something that makes me proud.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’ve got news for you. Those same social services will be the mechanism that informs the students that their demands have been met or denied. That same mechanism will be used to end the riot when the rioteers have accomplished their goal.

So yes, it can be done. But not simply upon the merit of a request from a social media that has no business sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong. The feed which started it, is the same as the feed that fuels it, and that will be the same feed that ends it.

jrpowell's avatar

If the facebook page is ”geurrilla marketing” does that make this question spam?

ninjacolin's avatar

Good causes are good causes. rules be damned.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

said the kettle to the pot

ninjacolin's avatar

^ haha, nice.

It’s not the social service that makes the difference. It’s the meme.
It’s the spread of the idea to the people affected. If people started printing signs and posting them everywhere.. it triggers a thought process that the rioters simply aren’t experiencing without that imagery.

some groups of people have actually formed gangs and fought off rioters to protect their areas. It’s the same idea only on the marketing side. It’s an indoctrination battle. When the ritoers came near these groups they would observe “OPPOSITION” in the imagery of a gang who physically oppose them.

Nothing is being done, however, to tackle the philosophy and psychology of the offenders. It’s one of the easiest things to neglect but it’s the whole reason people are mis-behaving in the first place: Reasons.

XOIIO's avatar

@ninjacolin I would be a social experiment, and no, facebook groups don’t do shit, nobody pays attention to them

Aethelflaed's avatar

No. It’s not that I don’t think social media can’t be powerful, so much as that I figure the best way to show my non-support for the riots is by not participating in them. My not showing up and bashing in things and breaking things and lighting things on fire pretty much speaks for itself. And, if you’re a rioter, I really doubt there’s any number of people who join a FB group that’s going to make you stop, since you’re already doing some pretty non-conformist (or anti-conformist) things.

ninjacolin's avatar

Okay, I think I see the argument some of you are making. Unless the number was in the hundreds of thousands over night.. I don’t see why it would make a difference either to anyone seeing it.

However, I wouldn’t expect the group itself to be the main catalyst for any change in behavior so much as the repetition of the meme. Through print and spread of the message.

For example, have you ever been in a raging mood? Ever in your life? Ever been so mad at someone, maybe as a kid or a teen.. and the only thing that pulled you back to your senses might have been the voice of your mother or some cute girl or maybe the school principal when your teacher’s voice wasn’t enough?

It’s about hearing the idea from a friend or a loved one. It’s about knowing people who want you to stop behaving utterly unruly.. I really think it would make a difference if a rioter got a message from a friend or authority figure or a crush… direct to their cell phone saying: The riots have to stop.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@ninjacolin And maybe it would. But there’s a pretty big difference between someone a rioter is personally close to, and random people on the internet. Facebook groups are random people on the internet.

ninjacolin's avatar

But they spread to everyone.. and eventually everyone is spreading it.. including the ones you’re close to.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@ninjacolin Yeah, but if you’re already close and personal with someone who’s rioting, and you’re against what they’re doing, either you’re going to tell them to cut it out, or you’re going to mind your own business. But are you really going to look at a FB group and go “oh, well, now I’ve made up my mind”? There is no decision, big or small, in my life, ever, in which I consult a Facebook group in order to decide if I should do it or not.

ninjacolin's avatar

haha, so you’d like to believe.
But I’m sure there’s been many parties you would have missed if it wasn’t for Facebook Events.

ninjacolin's avatar

FB is just a messaging system. It’s not an authority. The authority comes from the people who use it to communicate with us.

So many people demonize social services and ignore the fact that it’s just us talking to eachother.

efritz's avatar

I associate Facebook with Farmville and stalking 3rd grade crushes, not with sweeping social change. The greatest thing I can think of that Facebook groups accomplished was getting Betty White on SNL.

In short, Facebook is not really taken seriously due to its nature. More effort equals greater effect, and Facebook takes no effort.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@ninjacolin Two. Two parties. I managed. But that’s a personal thing. Facebook groups are not the same as a private message through Facebook’s system, or chat, or even events. They’re groups.

ninjacolin's avatar

@efritz, Yea, I guess my question wasn’t really about FB so I see why the answers are skewed. I meant to ask more about spreading the meme. FB being just one social service with which to do that.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

More harm is done by adding noise to a meme that doesn’t concern you than if you let the meme run its course witbout introducing entropy upon it.

ninjacolin's avatar

True in some cases but not all.

ninjacolin's avatar

Good discussion guys, thanks

TexasDude's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, Why would you want to stop a riot?

Um, because peoples’ homes and property is being destroyed and innocent folks are being put in harm’s way?

@ninjacolin, After watching these riots unfold, it looks to me like the only things that will stop them is if they get bored, run out of shit to pillage and burn, or if they get a taste of good old fashioned hickory shampoo.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Having lived through the Rodney King riots, sitting atop my home with rifles in hand, I can say that a lot more good came from them than any bad caused by destruction. I have yet to see people get seriously hurt in London’s riots. Not so with the RK era. That was a full on race war.

The photos I’ve browsed from London are pushing/shoving students letting off steam and expressing their anger.

Although police and politicians said much of the violence was opportunistic, community leaders and many residents in Tottenham said it pointed to deep social unease in the area, one of the poorest in London.

“Quite a few people were expecting riots this summer here. The economic situation has been building up and all it needed was a spark.”

Perhaps someone has been really badly hurt, but I cannot find anything to support it. I don’t believe that many people there are surprised by this.

I would consider this a Soft Riot. It will end when it becomes unpopular, and not a second sooner. Let them dance. It won’t compare to the day when Americans do. No, I don’t think it will compare at all.

I’ve seen fires burning. But not yet one single drop of blood.

rebbel's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Browse for some more pictures (or live feeds)..., ‘half’ of London is on fire at the moment.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yes it seems to be getting worse. This is obviously spreading beyond the Duggan honor. Doesn’t take much to start a landslide. Just a little trigger is all that’s needed for voices who would not otherwise be heard to take advantage of their one opportunity to be heard loud and clear. It’s like there are no second chances when attempting to break out of a prison. It’s all or nothing.

I say let them be heard. We will be.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It won’t end until martyr is traded for martyr. They will need to find a sacrifice to balance their Rodney King against their Reginald Denny.

No social network can provide that unless someone wants to play Jesus and crucify themselves online for all the world to see.

Poser's avatar

I think the term for this sort of thing is “slacktivism.”

mazingerz88's avatar

These idiot rioters should know the world and the media has moved on to the next senseless news and no one is paying attention, especially FB users. That will quell their violent and childish craving for attention. Oh, poor me, look we are fightin for sumthin, we dont have jobs so we’re gonna destro-oy people’s thi-ings till the congress of the US accept our demands…oh yeah, we don’t live in America, sorry, got hit in the head by a dildo… ( what a jerk )

Oh, shoot, sorry, this is in general apparently.

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