London Looters Brag About It on Twitter; the Twitterverse Fights Back
Via Reddit, here's an example of What Not to Do times two: Don't loot. And don't take to social media afterward to brag or make jokes about it. The woman (or person pretending to be this woman, because it's so grotesque it may well be a hoax or troll account) who tweeted the following has since cancelled her account. The Twitterverse has tracked down her former alias, @itsBARBZbabes.
As @KatieRed29, who exchanged Tweets with her while the account was still live, writes,
We exchanged emails with @KateRed29, who's sort of by accident found herself engaged in a "name & shame" campaign to mortify and stop the looters and the trolls thinking it's funny to pretend to be looters on Twitter. She wrote to us,
It started last night while watching the news coverage. I live roughly 2 hours away from the trouble so was feeling quite helpless watching the horrendous scenes unfolding on the television, on Twitter and Facebook.
This morning nothing had changed and we were hearing reports of trouble spreading. Last night about four other cities across the U.K. had rioters starting trouble. Many people on Facebook & Twitter think that "looting" is ok, which infuriated me, so when I got sent a picture of that girl tweeting that she had "loads of free stuff" after looting I decided to give her a piece of my mind! I shared the picture on Twitter & Facebook, encouraging others to do the same and from there it just escalated. Then @coolpics tweeted a picture with my Twitter ID showing what I had said & I think this encouraged others to do the same.
I've since been sent the Twitter IDs of other people basically trying to incite hatred & encourage rioters, which is why I have tried to spread the word. I think others may be scared to speak out but I don't care because bullies don't scare me! It makes me sick that people can behave like this in 2011 in what's supposed to be a civilised country.
I've gained around 100 followers in about five hours which is crazy, all people congratulating/thanking me for standing up to them. I never for a single second imagined it would go this far but it's amazing what can be done just by caring about where you live!
She added, in response to our question of "What if these accounts are fakes?":
The concept of Trolls was new to me today!! But, yes, I think it's just as important to stop them because if people believe them, it may encourage others to behave that way. I think the more people that are outraged at the behaviour, the more likely that people will think twice if they believe they'll get found out. So many people are getting involved in naming & shaming as the day goes on.
While Twitter and BlackBerry are getting some share of the blame for "helping" people organize riots and looting -- PEOPLE LOOT, TWEETS DON'T -- Twitter is also helping organize cleanup throughout the UK. Check @RiotCleanup, which has more than 73,000 followers.
Here's our favorite image thus far of townspeople coming out to sweep up the bad element, from @Lawcol888:
We like this, too...
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.