Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Was uptown unrest accelerated by social media?

As Charlotte-Mecklenburg police continue investigating the recent melee uptown during Memorial Day weekend, questions are being raised about whether social networks played a role. Given the drawing power of Facebook and other social networks, such questions make sense. After all, a German teen recently had to flee her own home after some 1,600 strangers showed up for her birthday party. She'd mistakenly posted her invitation on Facebook as a public invite rather than a private one for her friends. Would it be surprising if posts on social networks helped swell the crowds uptown that night?

CMPD spokesman Rob Tufano would say only that police continue investigating all information gathered concerning the unrest "and that does include social media networks." He wouldn't say whether they've proven any cause-effect link with social networks, though. Sgt. David Schwob, who oversees the school resource officers stationed on local public school campuses, said his office has checked the Facebook pages of eight to 10 juveniles arrested in connection with the unrest, but found no evidence those youths used their networks to rally people to come uptown.

If anybody knows of any such posts going out on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks that night, post a comment. I'd be interested to hear about it.


Anonymous said...

Let's not blame the culprits because this might be offensive to a larger body of people that these thugs belong to, endorse, look like or whatever

Anonymous said...

Oh, the excuses one is willing to make to avoid the ugly truth. No wonder our city is starting to resemble Detroit from 20 yrs ago.

Anonymous said...

Eric, you asked, "Would it be surprising if posts on social networks helped swell the crowds uptown that night?"
You mean the appeal of Speed Street wasn't enough to bring out trouble makers and criminal opportunists to take advantage of a mostly Lilly White gathering of families looking for a fun, safe time?
Keep us posted on what you find out, someone other than these punks need to be held accountable

Eric Frazier said...

Anonymous trio: I think you guys misunderstood the point of the post here. I'm not suggesting social media should take the "blame."Any actions/crimes that happened that night were committed by people. Social media's just a tool that can be used for good or ill. By people. And since the use of social media is what this blog's about, it's a legitimate question to ask here.

Cedar Posts said...


I'm sad to say that you are either naive or just plain out of touch.

Much like our Police Chief.

Today high school students Text, Tweet, Post, Comment on someone's Face Book wall none stop.

In my high school days it was:

Pass a note, pass the word, pass out a flyer. Oh and make a phone call.

The end result is the same. You going? Yeah, me too! What are we going to do? IDK!

For city and police to hedge their bets on whether or not if face book or twitter played a role in this melee is an insult to our collective intelligence.

Trufano plays dumb, and the media goes away. But the problem is not going away.

Chief Monroe while telling council and the media it wasn't a riot and it was no big deal, is staffing for a riot come July 4th.

I've already heard from officers who have been told to plan on extra long shifts, having days off canceled, vacations postponed and a big crowd control effort for the July uptown event.

The word is less people, more trouble and I expect that Chief Monroe is already pounding his fist, and threatening officers and I guarantee you heads are already rolling at the Law Enforcement Center.

And finally expect arrests, lots of arrests come July 4th.

Debdiego03 said...

Until the politicians, especially the mayor and police recognize that there is a serious gang issue developing in Charlotte things will only continue to deteriorate. Already I hear so many people talking about the gang problem making them want to leave.

Anonymous said...


Dat weren't no riot.

Dat were a Flash Mob.

Dem boyz be teknological sofisticats.

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