[fr] Je suis à la conférence Lift12 à Genève ces prochains jours. Voici mes notes de sessions.
Live-blogging from Lift12 conference in Geneva. These are my notes and interpretations of Farida Vis’s talk — best effort, but might be imprecise or even wrong!
Genesis of the riots, numbers, history. Very large scale (22 out of 32 boroughs affected). Day 3, spread to other towns.
Why were people doing this? It spread like wildfire, people didn’t really understand why. Politicians: this is just people being criminal. Government: no need for an enquiry, nothing to see.
Snap analysis: social media blamed, BBM=Facebook=Twitter. BBM actually played a significant role, being a closed network and cheap technology.
Accusers were the usual suspects: Cameron discussed whether people should be banned from using social media. Louise Mensch, Conservative MP, saying social media might have to be “switched off” during riots or crisis. (Think: Egypt.)
People got arrested for posting messages on Facebook etc. Very swift and very harsh. Two young men posted a message on Facebook trying to organize a riot (unsuccessful). Only the police showed up, and they got 4 years.
Police actually defended social media, saying it was a valuable communication platform for them, particularly police.
General public very much in line with politicians. Biggest support for switching off came from people over 65.
Guardian set up a study called Reading the Riots. Farida’s project is part of this, looking at Twitter. Twitter donated 2.6 mio “riot tweets”.
- role of rumors?
- did incitement actually take place?
- in which ways did different users come to prominence and use the platform?
Use of local hashtags. Riot Clean Up.
Rumors: there were some really outlandish ones. One rumor: animals released from the zoo. What kind of information were people distributing about that rumor?
First, people repeating the rumor (green dots). Red, refuting. Yellow, questioning.
First, green, then people start refuting, and explaining why not (e.g. tiger in photo is from Italy). But the green bubbles keep on growing. People have their own little networks on Twitter, they don’t see everything (e.g. new people log on, see the tweet, and repeat).
At some point people started using the project hashtag to claim starting rumors (oops).
Also found a lot of vitriol against the looters. Dark side.
@RiotCleanup number one mentioned account during the riots.
Most dominating cited group: mainstream media, followed by journalists. Then, riot accounts (including cleanup). Category 19: spoof accounts. Emergency services low overall.
In the spoof accounts, “The Dark Lord”, “Professor Snape”, “The Queen” — wtf are they doing in there? A lot of satire, commentary. A lot of crossover comments with News International, planking…
Conclusions? There are a lot of things we need to understand better. How rumors evolve, the rise of individuals, understand the context/local context, role of emergency services, downside of police on Twitter…?