Gangsta Goes Crowdsource

Well, it seems humanity can pretty much twist anything into a new variety of debauched behavior. The latest example of this can be found in the recent rash of crowdsourced hooliganism from London to Cleveland. Bored – or maybe just diabolically evil – youth have suddenly figured out that crowdsourcing is good for a whole lot more than mysteriously gathering to sing joyously and roll out a carefully planned impromptu dance number for the world. It also seems to work when you want to rip off large quantities of retail merchandise and befuddle security, when you want to put a cap in someone, or when you just want to bedevil some festivities that annoy you. So are these new patterns signs of a terrible economy, or just bad manners? You decide.

 For your enjoyment, L/L offers several excellent examples of the way the new connected society keeps evolving our lives!

• A thousand teens mobilized through social networking sites descended upon this year’s July 4th fireworks display in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, apparently to fight and disrupt the event. According to Shaker Heights Police Chief D. Scott Lee, “They’re gathering with an intent behind it – not just to enjoy the event. All too often, some of the intent is malicious.”

• In London, youths have been using Twitter, mobile phone text messages and instant messaging on BlackBerry to organize and keep a step ahead of police as they instigate rioting and looting. The activity has prompted Blackberry’s manufacturer, Research in Motion, to issue a statement offering empathy for the rioting victims. No word on whether the youths are wearing Doc Martens and Sid Vicious t-shirts.

• In June, a couple dozen youths looted several hundred dollars worth of shoes, socks and wristwatches from a Sears store in Upper Darby, outside Philadelphia. Their haul wasn’t especially impressive but the sheer size of the group and the speed of the roughly five-minute operation made them impossible to stop. Upper Darby Police Chief Michael Chitwood said, “The good thing is there were no weapons and nobody tried to stop them, either. The only people that tried to stop them were the police when they rounded them up.”

• In April, about 20 teens brought the specter of evil into G-Star Raw, a high-end men’s clothing store in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. They brazenly stole about $20,000 worth of merchandise, despite employees’ efforts to grab the apparel back! Store manager Greg Lennon said, “D.C. police have investigated leads but have made no arrests.” In street lingo, that means, “We got butkus!”

• Also in April (April is a big crime spree month I guess – blood makes the grass grow), a man was shot when hundreds of rival gang members congregated along the Los Angeles seafront in Venice, sparking pandemonium as people scattered for cover. The group had gathered after some of them posted on Twitter and police were still strategizing their response to the huge crowd when shots rang out.

Wow. I don’t know about you, but the whole thing just gives me great faith in the ingenuity and goals of GenY. What a sweet, crazy bunch of kids. One thing though: Next time someone pulls some jazz hands out for you, better make sure they aren’t packin.’

Source: AP news. Some verbiage taken directly from AP





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