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Twitter playing big role in reporting of Vancouver riot

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As The Next Web reports: It was really just a hockey game.

Certainly it was the biggest hockey game of the National Hockey League season, but the riot it has spawned in Vancouver makes it look like something far more politically charged may be the cause. And Twitter is playing a big part in reporting this riot, and may even be able to help local police catch some of the culprits.

The riot erupted as soon as the final horn sounded to end game seven of the Stanley Cup final, where the Boston Bruins defeated the hometown Vancouver Canucks 4-0. The Twittersphere was filled with updates about the game throughout the evening, and once the rioting began one could see tweets monitoring the situation for hours afterward. Twitter users were sending messages outlining what was going on in the downtown core, from cars being lit on fire to where police were having standoffs with rioters. They also offered opinion on the whole situation, ranging from disgust that news outlets were calling the rioters “fans” to embarrassment for a city that hosted the Winter Olympic Games just last year.

This isn’t necessarily new to Vancouver. In 1994, a riot started when the Canucks lost to the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals. But this time, social media platforms like Twitter are around to help people report the situation immediately and maybe even provide authorities with clues as to who is involved in the rioting.

Savvy users are taking photos of rioters and are sending them to news agencies and the local police to help them identify those doing the damage to the city. Of course, many of those who are causing the problems are also taking photos of themselves, which may eventually find their way into authorities’ hands.

Twitter may have also prompted the story to gain coverage well beyond the borders of Canada in such a speedy manner, as CNN, the New York Times and Washington Post have all moved the story to prime coverage areas of the outlets’ websites and print editions. And NBA star Steve Nash, a native of British Columbia, took to Twitter to plead with rioters to stop with the onslaught.

via Twitter playing big role in reporting of Vancouver riot.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 17, 2011 at 09:02

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