Social Media Spurring Gang Violence?

Social media, by definition, is for users to be social. I use Facebook to keep in touch with people I don’t see often, make jokes with people I do, and every thing in between. I think that’s pretty common for most people. However now, some kids are using it not only to keep up with their friends, but also to organize them into gang-related violence.

Due to Facebook, over 1,000 kids met in Carson Beach yesterday to watch rival gang violence. Though they are no specific groups or pages these kids used to organize, it is assumed they kept in touch via messaging or status updates.

There has been some speculation if the “gang meeting” was exaggerated or not, but regardless over 5 agencies and 100 officers responded to the scene. By searching “Carson Beach” within Twitter results in dozens of tweets, most linking back to the WebProNews article or the Boston Globe, or arguing the truth to these allegations.

Perhaps it wasn’t a “gang meeting,” merely a hot day. Maybe the kids used these methods to meet up and hang out, and it got out of control. Maybe it wasn’t even out of control, but 1,000 teenagers all in one group just seemed out of control? Either way, social media is now a method for people to organize, whether violent or non-violent. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.


~ by julieesmer on May 31, 2011.

2 Responses to “Social Media Spurring Gang Violence?”

  1. Your thoughts about Facebook being used to organize groups of both positive and negative social purposes have a nice echo to the theme of Shirky’s book ‘Here Comes Everybody’. The powers of social media to coordinate movements of disparate & wide-spread people are awesome – the questions about whether & how to police social media to ensure safety of the participants remain an open question.

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