BlackBerry Messenger Being Used To Organize London Violence

While the police have blamed social-networking sites such as Twitter for fuelling the riots in London over the weekend, it now appears those involved may have in fact been using the BlackBerry Messenger or BBM service to organise the unrest.

A second night of unrest broke out across London last night, with violence erupting in areas such as Brixton and Islington, with the police confirming 100 people had now been arrested as a result of the rioting and 35 police officers injured in the violence.

Commentators and now the police have been quick to blame social-networking sites such as Twitter for providing a platform for those rioting to organise their actions.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Kavanagh told BBC Radio 4′s Today on Monday: ‘Social media and other methods have been used to organise these levels of greed and criminality.’

Pictures: Damage in Brixton following riots

However, it is now also being claimed that those involved were in fact using Blackberry’s BBM messaging service instead.

As Jonathan Akwue points out on his The Urban Mashup blog, BBM messages appear to have been circulating since Thursday’s shooting of Mark Duggan by the police which sparked the beginning of the unrest on Saturday evening when a peaceful demonstration turned violent.

A simple Twitter search for ‘tottenham bbm’ confirms people were using the messaging service to spread information about the riots.

Akwue also highlights the fact BlackBerry messages are a lot less visible to the outside world and therefore much harder for the police to track.

Home secretary Theresa May has returned home from her summer holiday early to help coordinate the response to the London riots as prime minister David Cameron and mayor of London Boris Johnson remain on vacation. Source :


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