Last week Donna Leinwald Leger noted in USA Today that social media has played a large role in the aftermath of the Vancouver riots. Who’s surprised? My favorite is the “V-Day”-esque photo released of a couple kissing amidst the brawling. Note: they have released statements that it was not planned or posed. Romance doesn’t always have to be pre-meditated folks.
Vancouver police are slightly more worried about social media posing challenges for investigators. Only five days after the June 15 riot, police had received 3,500 e-mails that included 53 videos, 708 photographs and 1,011 hyperlinks to social media sites such as Facebook.
Authorities “are asking the public to resist the temptation to take justice into their own hands,” the police said in a statement responding to copious amounts of Websites and Facebook pages whose aims are to shame rioters into confessing.
Todd Shipley, former Reno police detective points out that the crime scene has expanded. “It’s no longer just the physical world, but it’s that Internet cloud. There’s actionable information out there.”
“This is the first major incident where social media has been so prevalent,” said Constable Lindsey Houghton, a police spokesman.
Uh, lies. Egypt anyone? Cuba? Every major incident now has a tie-in with social media. Why? Because it’s the quickest way to transmit information and communicate. You can have an opinon about anything and take it to the Web. You may even find kindred spirits. Have you heard the tale about the robber who was caught because he logged on his own Facebook mid-rob?
No one should be surprised about the flood of Websites devoted to the riots because the outlets are free and for the most part, uncensored. I hypothesize that social media will continue to play a role in law enforcement, probably in everyone’s best interests.