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Ryan Crowe
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UK Riots Help / London Riots Help
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Trying to be a source of information and help for those involved in the UK riots. Please share information with this profile and I will update it regularly for those interested.

If you are a member of the press corps and would like to use this profile in a piece - please feel free to do so. If you need to contact a person for some reason, my profile is listed under the links.

If you're looking for a person - let me know, I can share that info with followers as well. I'll do what I can to help you with anything riot related.
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Ryan Crowe

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UK/London Riots

Hello all, it seems like things are finally settling down over there, so this will probably mean this profile will go silent unless there is a reason to kick up again. I do have questions for those in the UK who follow this account. What do you think of Prime Minister Cameron's suggestions to shut down social media during a crisis event?

I wrote a blog about it (linked in the share) but you all probably have a better idea of the goings-on than most of my readers across the pond. I'd appreciate your insight. I hope that some of you will keep in touch - several great people I've met running this profile for the last couple of days!
Ryan Crowe originally shared:
 
G+ BloG+ - addressing the "should they shut down social media in the UK?" question

I wrote this for the blog for the company I work for ( no, don't worry, I'm not trying to link you to a sales pitch, nor do I get commission for driving people to the site ), but I was interested to hear your opinions on Prime Minister Cameron's thoughts on shutting down social media channels during a crisis.

I'm clearly not a journalist - so do you think I missed any key points? I'm writing for people who aren't necessarily attuned to the tech industry like many of the G+ user base, so I stayed away from a lot of technical jargon. You don't even have to read the article to answer the question at the end if you don't feel like leaving the G+ stream.

The question is: did social media cause more harm than good during the riots? Does it set a dangerous precedent? Also, what are the UK's free speech laws like?

http://bit.ly/n0hnSc
Social Media and the UK Riots – Should they shut social media down? Posted by Ryan Crowe in Facebook, News & Updates, Social Media, Social Networks, Twitter August 11, 2011. Just in case you weren...
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Social media has been shut down by Tunisia, Egypt during revolution and now UK want to copy them?
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Ryan Crowe

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UK/London Riots Help - Watch for these changes by your local police teams
Thomas Morffew originally shared:
 
UK Riots

Key points from David Cameron's statement.


• Instant messaging services will be reviewed. "We are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality," he said.

• The police will have new powers to order people to remove facemasks. "On facemasks, currently [the police] can only remove these in a specific geographical location and for a limited time," Cameron said. "So I can announce today that we are going to give the police the discretion to remove face coverings under any circumstances where there is reasonable suspicion that they are related to criminal activity."

*• Curfew powers will be reviewed. "On dealing with crowds, we are also looking at the use of existing dispersal powers and whether any wider power of curfew is necessary," he said.

• Sentencing powers will be kept under review to ensure that the courts have the powers they need.

• Individuals and companies will get compensation for damage caused by rioting. "On repairing the damages, I can confirm that any individual, homeowner or business that has suffered damage to or loss of their buildings or property as a result of rioting, can seek compensation under the Riot Damages Act, even if uninsured," he said.

• The police will receive "the funds they need to meet the cost of any legitimate aims".

• The government will set up a £20m fund to help high street firms affected by the rioting. Businesses affected will be able to defer tax payments.

• The government will allow councils to grant business rate relief. Whitehall will fund three quarters of the cost of such schemes.

• Gang injunctions will be extended across the whole of the UK.

• A ministerial group will prepare a programme of action on gang culture. It will report in October. People like Bill Bratton, the American police chief, will be consulted.

via guardian.co.uk
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My issue is with this statement:
• Instant messaging services will be reviewed. "We are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality," he said.

Surely, it ought to be to the benefit of the authorities to leave the system well in place, in order to be told in advance where and what will happen as well as have the ability to trace the identities of those plotting violence, criminality and disorder in order to fully prosecute them.

Governments bug phones on the same principles, after all.

The main issue seems to be that most rioters and looters know that they are nor risking much, at most a conviction for burglary, which as a first time offence does not threaten them sufficiently.
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UK/London Riots Help - Things markedly more peaceful this evening

Who has other good news?
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Great news!
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Ryan Crowe

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UK/London Riots Help - good news from +Steph White - rain discouraging "hoodies"

Wouldn't want to short out their new telly would they?
Steph White originally shared:
 
Latest #ukriots

20.18 Heidi Blake emails from Manchester:

Manchester remains deathly quiet as the city deploys its most effective anti-riot weapon: pouring rain.

The 800 police officers lining the deserted streets are looking increasingly damp but are facing the dismal weather with characteristic grit. The streets of Salford too are eerily silent, though the riot squad are keeping the shopping parade on lock down.

Locals have retreated into the few pubs which remain open and are discussing the troubles over hearty quantities of beer. There is a palpable sense of relief in the air.

Plus
[caption id="attachment_100100493" align="alignnone" width="460" caption="Sikhs gathered in Southall to protect their temple (Photo: PA)"][/caption] If I am honest, the sight of the Turks of Dalston m...
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Ryan Crowe

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*UK/London Riots Help - Great advice from +Rebecca Woodhead *
Rebecca Woodhead originally shared:
 
Expect the police to crank things up tonight. If you plan to come to me with sob stories about rioters being bruised by police tomorrow expect to be blocked. Anyone who's out on the streets in the middle of riots tonight knows exactly what they're doing and if they get hurt in the process of looting or arson, I have no sympathy.

If you see riots, stay away. If you go out, do NOT wear a hoodie. If you are even thinking of rioting, stay at home or you run the risk of being shot with rubber bullets. People have died in these riots. If you go out to riot, you're being irresponsible. If you act with no sense of responsibility or respect for the law, you lose your rights. Rights and responsibilities are always connected.

The reason police have to clamp down on this now is not just to protect victims, but because rioters will get addicted. Rival gangs are uniting and boundaries are being broken down. That leads to a sense of connection in divided communities. Humans are empathetic creatures. We need to feel connected. Rioters are feeling connection with people they've previously fought. That's addictive.

What I hope is that when all this is over, the connections made by those of us who are not rioting remain. I hope also that the connections made by the rioters can turn into something different. Community service would be a crucial component in that. If part of their sentence was the need to work with the communities they destroyed, and rebuild them, our society could look a lot better in 20 years. I don't hate the rioters. I hate what they're doing. But, people on the outskirts of those groups - who've not done more than run around, shouting, need to be given a way back into the community.

http://tiny.cc/AllConnected
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Ryan Crowe

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UK/London Riots Help - Rioters being kept off of streets after being found guilty in court. Bail being denied in most if not all cases - thanks +Thomas Morffew for being a source of news
Thomas Morffew originally shared:
 
Just FYI the Guardian reports that London Riot court cases are going through the courts very quickly. Bail denied in most if not all cases.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/blog/2011/aug/10/manchester-riots-uk-disorder-day-four-live
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Have them in circles
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Ryan Crowe

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Fantastic article by +Anthony De Rosa - how information on the riots spread about on Twitter.
Anthony De Rosa originally shared:
 
I think this could be a first, Reuters leading with a story based entirely on Tweets. My Storify timeline of the London riots.
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Ryan Crowe

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UK/London Riots Help - while there's a lull...

For those of you who aren't following my original profile. I wrote a blog detailing the successes and shortcomings of my efforts on my "Union Jack" profile. I am posting it to you all so you can suggest other ways to help to me and perhaps to others who wish to help. Even if the worst has passed - it might be wise to start discussing how we could use G+ as a crisis management tool. Since many of the people following this profile are/were affected by the riots - what would have helped you most?
Ryan Crowe originally shared:
 
G+ Tips BloG+: Google Plus for Social Good - The First Test - Successes and Shortcomings (?) (warning: long read)

35 hours ago I started "London Riots Help" - it is a Google Plus profile dedicated to collecting and disseminating information on the UK/London Riots - and then, of course, sharing that information publicly so that people would have an easy to find and all-encompassing resource. It has since become +Ryan Crowe - I call it my Union Jack profile - I had to change the name because it would have been a shame if Google's robot-brand-name-profile killer to have shut down a resource meant for helping people who could be in dire trouble. Also, I knew that there were going to be a few trolls who would report the profile for being fake.

Here are my thoughts on the failures and successes of this endeavor so far:

Successes -

1.) There are people who want to help. This of course is always the big success - I made "London Riots Help" profile and people immediately started adding it after I made an announcement here.Quickly, I started receiving and trying to reshare the information that was flooding my "Incoming" stream.

2.) The tips that I share? They work! - this is not some sort of pat on the back thing here, I share so many tips that I often don't get to try all of them out - I rely on reading reviews of the tips that I reshare sometimes. So, I went through my back log and looked for the tips that helped me gather information and reshare that information the quickest. I used gplussearch to search through G+ posts dealing with the riots. I used www.recommendedusers.com to find journalists of whom I had been previously unaware with G+ profiles. I shared +Guy Kawasaki 's alltop and encouraged him to create a London riots G+ list and then to publish it (he didn't, he's busy). The etiquette of thanking people that had lead me to information quickly allowed people to discover other avenues of information - and a network of people reporting and talking about the riots manifested and were documented. Google+, even in its Beta stage - is a great platform for gathering and sharing information quickly... and is more in-depth than Twitter, and is more public than Facebook because the information has the capability to get into your Streams more easily.

3.) Telling stories through different forms of media is king - and Google+ allows that to happen - it is incredibly easy to share photos, and video - and often times that affects people more than a story does. "An old building was burned to the ground in West Manchester" is perhaps less impressive than a video of that building burning to the ground. That visual connection aids in understanding the seriousness of the event.

4.) Google+ works well in tandem with other social networks - it would have been/is currently unwise and perhaps socially irresponsible to try and keep all of my efforts dedicated to G+ and ignoring the efforts on other platforms. Through G+ I am able to orchestrate a cross-platform campaign to try to and enhance the reach of the message. Not MY message, this isn't a personal branding campaign - but to extend the reach of advice that may significantly help someone in their situation. For example, in my Union Jack profile page are links to the Twitters of different police departments, Facebooks of different clean-up groups and news organizations that have live feeds and updates.

Shortcomings-

1.) There aren't a lot of people following the account - ~450 users -this is probably... for a couple of reasons that I can discern - and each of these reasons tie in to the rest of the "shortcomings" on my list.

1a.) It doesn't seem like there are a lot of UK users - I have been unable to come up with a demographics report of G+ users by country, but I'm not seeing a lot of UK users interacting with the account at all; now... that could be my fault. My outreach abilities haven't been turning out well when it comes to high profile users who don't seem interested in helping (a problem on its own). This problem seems to be temporary - as G+ continues to grow - this sort of issue probably won't be an issue anymore.

1b.) Response to outreach has been anemic - high profile G+ user accounts don't care or aren't listening... and they don't have to - it's not fair for me to expect them to rally around a cause that doesn't affect them - or at least that can't see how it affects them directly. However, even if they don't care about the people in the UK dealing with this issue, I expected them at least to care about the way G+ is being tested as a resource for people in need. People whose entire "fame" is directly related to their online/social media presence - ignoring an important test for this new platform? Which leads to...

1c.) It has only been 35 hours since the account started. - This is probably the most important. This is a perfect example of broadband syndrome. I thought it would blow up and reach as many people that needed to be reached. When I started GPlusTips - the amount of Followers gained in such a short amount of time was incredibly surprising - and perhaps the success there set that bar too high for my personal expectations. Perhaps the amount of users should be in the "success" portion?

2.) "Are we doing it wrong?" - . The reason this hasn't seen the support that I thought it would have is maybe because... as a community, we're not really sure how to use G+ to respond to crises yet. We don't have an example to follow.

3.) Google+ doesn't allow groups to act under a name - well it could. Before I was convinced to turn "London Riots Help" into my Union Jack account - I was ready to take people who were interested in the cause - give them the username/pw and have them take over when I had to sleep, eat, have a life or do work. Because the news/actions are constantly going and won't stop for me to do any of those things - I turned the account into my name, but perhaps I should change it to something else so that people can act together. Why? It's hard for a single user to keep up with all of the action! (it has currently taken me about 2 hours to write this post because I keep checking to see if I've missed anything.) But will people be willing to do work if they aren't being recognized for it... I hope so.

4.) Google+ makes it hard to target specific users, natively - I wish I could send these messages to folks in the UK - it would be nice if there was some sort of location-based circle... function that didn't exist solely on the mobile platform. There are outside resources to use - those various find G+ users sites - but even then you have to rely on people to have found those as well. Even socialstatistics.com has under 50k profiles being watched and I feel like that's one of the more popular sites.

5.) There is no native search, #, page or event feature that people can find easily - on Twitter you can look for hashtag events (#londonriots ... has been trending) and on Facebook you can create events/pages or groups for people to find. Go type "London Riot" in the FB search bar and you can find pages set up for Updates, Clean-Ups, Photos, Videos and news. You can't do that on G+ yet - and it would have been extremely helpful. Instead you have to rely on people to find each other and create a sort of flimsy network of inter-connected/linking posts that you have to wait for the enterprising user to compile. Someone has to collect all that information, organize it and post it and HOPE it gets re-shared so that other people can use it. Another thing about these posts - if the user is somewhat new and doesn't quite know how to bookmark posts yet... that post is going to get lost. In a crisis event... user-friendly mechanisms are KEY - especially if they are using it on their mobile where the features aren't as easy to manipulate.

6.) Organizing information is difficult - Again, you have to rely on the enterprising user to organize all of the information and be there to constantly update a post in order for things to be as helpful as possible. Unlike a Facebook page, or a series of hashtags that can be searched - all of the information is spread out among different users' posts... even if all of it is collected into one - you still have to rely on being able to find that user's post later on IF you know that post exists in the first place (again, very hard to search if you don't know how specifically). Using the empty circle bookmark feature or even bookmarking the permalink is one way to solve part of that problem... but even then... what about the users who aren't familiar with those tactics?


That's what I've got so far. It's only been 35 hours. Do you all have any tips or want to help? Did I get something wrong in my analysis?
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You've done excellent work, and as the population of G+ hopefully increases I think the scope to help a wider audience will improve.
Word of mouse and G+ sharing will also boost this.
I have read mutterings about search facilities being improved here so the hashtag or similar may make its way here.
It should be seen as a bonus though that there is more than one network available to channel information in a crisis, it means that the information is more likely to get to the people that need it.
Interestingly Google does provide help during major disasters to allow people to find one another by creating an internet based billboard kinda thing.
The Nearby app facility can only improve methinks, especially when more people are willing to check in all over the place.
There you go, thoughts from an end user
thanks again
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Ryan Crowe

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UK/London Riots Help - not quite sure about the situation in the UK? Read this:

http://www.mediabistro.com/10000words/the-best-explainers-for-understanding-the-u-k-riots_b5984

+Marci Sischo has sent me this fantastic link with a wealth of resources to catch up on what is going on in the UK.
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UK/London Riots Help - Using social media to plan defence teams

Great share by Heather Buckley - be careful though, we don't need more injuries and deaths.
Heather Buckley originally shared:
 
Looks like trouble in Birmingham tonight
Birmingham Youth Defence - 0121 United Against Rioters - Asian, Black and White Youths United against the rioting scum in Birmingham! - Description: We aint gonna let you trash and take Brum from us -...
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UK/London Riots Help - Blackberry hackers and presumably riot organizers threaten Blackberry team

A new level of depravity has been reached. Please be aware that they threaten to have advanced technological prowess and can/will use it to hurt you.
Heather Buckley originally shared:
 
Hackers got into the Blackberry Blog and posted this threat:

Dear Rim;
You Will NOT assist the UK Police because if u do innocent members of the public who were at the wrong place at the wrong time and owned a blackberry will get charged for no reason at all, the Police are looking to arrest as many people as possible to save themselves from embarrassment... if you do assist the police by giving them chat logs, gps locations, customer information & access to peoples BlackBerryMessengers you will regret it, we have access to your database which includes your employees information; e.g - Addresses, Names, Phone Numbers etc. - now if u assist the police, we WILL make this information public and pass it onto rioters... do you really want a bunch of angry youths on your employees doorsteps? Think about it... and don’t think that the police will protect your employees, the police can’t protect themselves let alone protect others.... if you make the wrong choice your database will be made public, save yourself the embarrassment and make the right choice. don’t be a puppet..

p.s - we do not condone in innocent people being attacked in these riots nor do we condone in small businesses being looted, but we are all for the rioters that are engaging in attacks on the police and government... and before anyone says "the blackberry employees are innocent" no they are not! They are the ones that would be assisting the police

- TriCk - TeaMp0isoN -
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That is just wrong!
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Ryan Crowe

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UK/London Help Riots - A few words from Chief Constable Petery Fahy - thanks +Steph White
Steph White originally shared:
 
A few words of thanks from Greater Manchester's Chief Constable, Peter Fahy.

Got any Information? Call the Greater Manchester Police information appeal line on 0800 092 0410 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
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Like the non-bold ;)
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