August 10, 2011 - Comments Off on @riotcleanup social media helping local communities recover

@riotcleanup social media helping local communities recover

After seeing so much devastation in the streets of London it was refreshing to witness a strong social media campaign formulating this morning.

The London community turned to the powerful communication network – Twitter, to reach out for help when attempting to clean up the mess in and around London suburbs. Millions of pounds of damage has been the result of ludicrous behaviour over the past few days and it will take a lot of effort to restore it. Instead of using networks to enforce blame, London tweeters have been using them to encourage others to stand strong and show their support. Community spirit and proactive nature is definitely worth talking about.

@Riotcleanup was set up by London individuals and within hours it gained over 16,000 followers increasing dramatically to over 20,000 and even more as I write this blog post. The first tweet from the page was  ‘’We’re live. Locations to come very very shortly.#riotcleanup’’ Others followed promptly after, with dates and times of where to meet and what to bring.

This being a prime example of how easily people can use social networks to have an influential impact on others. Twitter and Facebook should be used as a way of encouraging positive activity not violence and criminality.

The riots have been escalating over the past few days and News reports show destruction in other cities including Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool after groups of youths caught onto the idea.

The number of police officers on duty in London alone will increase from 6000 to 16,000 to deal with the riots, enforcing the scale of just how serious this has become, BBC reports.

Instead of highlighting the negativity of events the following examples show pre-empted behaviour and constructive activity.

Philippa Morgan-Walker, 25 and her husband, Jonny Walker, 31, made tea for the police who were protecting their street- pure community spirit.

Twitter Activity

Riotcleanup Clean Up London

Clapham junction at 1. Police saying to bring sturdy gloves

@thedinertweets Get on this. Good work London who is rolling their sleeves up@Riotcleanup

@roughtradeshops rough trade shops,if you are not at work today follow @artistsmakers and help clean up your local communities, small businesses need your help #riotcleanup

GregCapital Greg Burns
Father and son… @Riotcleanup in Clapham!

A Facebook page supporting Metropolitan Police has 500,335 likes.

Supporting the Met Police against London Rioters

Facebook has been used in the past for similar activities, urging citizens to help clean up the mess caused by the riots in the streets of Vancouver. Within hours the group had already gained 8,000 attendees which is more than a company profile can achieve within a few days.

It is times like this we can really use social media to shout out to a mass audience and work towards solving a crisis.  Keep up the good work @Riotcleanup!!!!

Dan Akers, Development and Innovation manager, quotes;

“I think the most important lesson about this is that everyone was using all available methods to connect themselves – both the rioters using Blackberry messenger, and the Twitter people wanting to clean up afterwards.  It’s evidence that counter to what some people seem to think, connecting people together more and more extensively doesn’t automatically lead to some sort of enlightened, socially responsible society.  Social networking, or any advanced technology isn’t a cure for communities that are ill, it’s simply the medium in which we are all floating.”