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January 4, 2012 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Self-Organized, Hyper-Networked Revolts—Coming to a City Near You: Wired looks at how messaging and social media have influenced the dynamics of riots, protests, other large crowd gatherings.
posted by quin (23 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Strict controls on how these technologies will be allowed to be used this way- Coming to a City Near You..
posted by The Whelk at 1:37 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reading the Riots - A study of the causes of the English riots
posted by Artw at 1:43 PM on January 4, 2012


Nick de Bois, one of Enfield’s representatives in Parliament, was whiling away that Sunday afternoon at the horse races in Windsor, where a friend’s wife was celebrating her 40th birthday. It was a fine day of racing, to boot: In the third, Toffee Tart bested Marygold by just half a length, paying off at 7:2. “Unusually for me, I hadn’t looked at my handheld in two hours,” de Bois says. But when he did look, he saw something disturbing. Gossip was swirling about more riots that night, with Enfield named as a likely target. De Bois decided he had better cut his race day short. “I never even had a chance to recover my losses,” he deadpans.

wow, does this dude realize how out of touch he sounds? damn, I had to do my job, what a bummer.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:49 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Social media to sway and organize the masses is something entirely new!

Wait, wait. Act 3, Scene II.

First Citizen
O piteous spectacle!

Second Citizen
O noble Caesar!

Third Citizen
O woful day!

Fourth Citizen
O traitors, villains!

First Citizen
O most bloody sight!

Second Citizen
We will be revenged.

All
Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay!
Let not a traitor live!

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:53 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


This summer, we've seen flash-mobs used for violent ends in Philly - that was just hooliganism, but I think we're close to the point where they'll be used for politically motivated violence. Doesn't matter how many body guards you've got when fifteen people with shotguns all show up at the politician's grip'n'grin session at the supermarket at the same time.

On the other hand, peaceful flash-protests seems like an awesome idea.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:55 PM on January 4, 2012


wow, does this dude realize how out of touch he sounds? damn, I had to do my job, what a bummer.

I realize that as a lawyer this may not be a behavior you're personally familiar with, but yeah, many people go whole hours without checking their work email on a Sunday afternoon.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 2:16 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, wait. Act 3, Scene II.

I don't know. According to the Bard, Romans pretty much just agree with whomever was the last to speak.

BRUTUS: Caesar was bad!

ROMANS: Yeah! Fuck Caesar!

MARC ANTONY: Brutus is a tool!

ROMANS: Yeah! Kill Brutus!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:30 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Strict controls on how these technologies will be allowed to be used this way- Coming to a City Near You..

Sure, block BBM. And they will take to Twitter. Block Twitter, they go to Facebook. Block Facebook, they'll go to whatever is next. The whole thought of blocking the technology will be as effective as DRM: write CSS, DeCSS comes along, write the next DRM, a sharpie defeats it, write another watermark, someone cracks it, etc.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:32 PM on January 4, 2012


At the end of the day a total disconnect between the population and the police is probably going to be more of a cause than Blackberrys or Twitter.
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Granted that mob action or protests have in fact changed as technology changes, but thus far what political and social changes have been brought about? Egypt: still under military rule; Syria in civil war and uncertain; and the US?
posted by Postroad at 2:36 PM on January 4, 2012


The BBM thing is interesting. It was designed for corporate use and it's highly encrypted, very secure platform. That's very much unlike twitter, which is wide open. It would be really, really easy for the British, or any other government to monitor twitter, or 'regular' text messages.

But, obviously RIM will probably cooperate with some governments. It would be interesting to see what's gone on between RIM and the UK government since the riots.

Ultimately though Egypt and other north African countries really had two problems, 1) they didn't know what they were doing and 2) they didn't have any 'in' with companies like twitter and facebook in order to get the monitoring they need. The US government probably wouldn't have that problem.
posted by delmoi at 2:47 PM on January 4, 2012


According to the Bard, Romans pretty much just agree with whomever was the last to speak.

Which is exactly my point. ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:55 PM on January 4, 2012


If only the youths in England and the US paid closer attention to those great, industrious, executive role models in the financial sector.

OH WAIT, I guess they did.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:58 PM on January 4, 2012


The problem with Egypt is that anyone who got excited by what was essentially a military coup now looks like a huge chump.
posted by Artw at 3:00 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


The whole thought of blocking the technology will be as effective as DRM: write CSS, DeCSS comes along, write the next DRM, a sharpie defeats it, write another watermark, someone cracks it, etc.

Block the physical layer and it all comes crashing down.

That's coming. Hell, I'll bet the switchgear is already in place, waiting for enough of an "emergency." But I drop the physical circuits to the cell towers, to the cable modems, to the MAEs and IPXs, and your Internet *is gone* -- at least, as far as you know. Yes, TCP routes around "damage" -- but when there are no routes at all, TCP dies.

In the end, it's just a wire -- and wires can be cut.
posted by eriko at 3:27 PM on January 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


According to the Bard, Romans pretty much just agree with whomever was the last to speak.

Which is exactly my point. ;-)


Then why will not one listen to me when I call for the wholesale slaughter of people who wear baseball caps sideways?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:09 PM on January 4, 2012


You might want to check how many radios and sensors there are in your phone.

Physical layer has a fair number of tricks left.
posted by ead at 6:41 PM on January 4, 2012


Never underestimate the bandwidth of a cargo container full of people beaten by the secret police.
posted by Artw at 6:44 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Egypt wasn't a military coup until after Mubarak fell, everyone felt excitement during his fall. Ain't over yet either.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:04 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm afraid that causes serious disruption all by itself, eriko.

Internet liberation project finds test site in Occupy D.C. (see mesh networking)

Occupy geeks are building a Facebook for the 99%
posted by jeffburdges at 7:23 PM on January 4, 2012


Yes, TCP routes around "damage" -- but when there are no routes at all, TCP dies.
TCP doesn't rout around damage. TCP is a layer on top of IP, but really it's all dependent on how routers are configured. If they 'know' the routs they can follow them.
posted by delmoi at 7:32 PM on January 4, 2012




Occupy geeks are building a Facebook for the 99%

"the 99%" reaches new heights of meaninglessness.
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on January 5, 2012


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