Follow posts tagged #reading the riots in seconds.Sign up
Round up: Reading the Riots and technology
An image of a burning bus in Tottenham was one of the first to spread rapidly via Twitter. Photograph: GA/Rex Features
We’ve posted a number of pieces on guardian.co.uk as part of our Reading the Riots study about how social networks and technology were used during the UK unrest in August. Here’s a round up of some of our coverage:
- How BBM and Blackberry was used to plan the riots
- Twitter and the riots: how the news spread
- A superb interactive showing how various rumours spread and were quashed on Twitter during the UK riots
- How 2.6m tweets were analysed to understand reaction to the riots
- How mainstream broadcasters also contributed to the spreading of the London riots
- A look at how technology has often been blamed in times of unrest
- A video showing interviews with rioters on how they used social media
- Q&A with Paul Lewis and Tim Newburn on the study
See all the reports from the Reading the Riots study here.
Hugh Muir x Janelle, 22, East London | Reading the Riots Study, The Guardian
- Janelle: With the cost of everything going up it's really difficult. . . I feel like no one cares about young people. And i'm not even young, I'm twenty-two now, I'll be twenty-three in July. But I don't think no one cares about the youth, no one cares what they do, how they're coping with things. Nobody's asking them, you know, 'What's going on?' A lot of those children, a lot of those teenagers have stories. They have stories that can change other teenager's lives, to motivate them to do something better, but nobody asks them. And that is the god's honest truth, coz I grew up on the streets, you know what I'm saying. And I know for a fact that nobody asked me what I was feeling, nobody asked me what was going on. For a long period of my life no one knew what was going on. It was when I got to like, college, I started speaking to people about abuse that had gone on in my home. No one knew. There was no one that asked.
- HM: When you saw all the trouble there was in the summer, were you surprised?
- Janelle: No. Not at all. I'm surprised it didn't happen before to be honest. People are tired. You know, coz I was there, I witnessed a lot of what happened. It wasn't just youths, there was adults there, people probably my mum's age taking stuff because they couldn't afford it. Like, I don't think people, I dont think everybody was stealing because they're tryna be greedy, I think some people needed stuff. I've got friends that steal milk, like milk for their babies, because they've taken away the tokens, the um, milk tokens and stuff, so it's getting really hard, definitely [. . .] I wanna be with my daughter's father, I don't wanna be like these girls that are with different guys and have kids all over the place. I wanna have kids with him, I wanna get married. For instance, he can't live with me. From when we've had our daughter he can't live with me because if he does everything [benefits] will get chopped down, and he don't even get money. He's on JSA [Jobseekers Allowance] and he don't even get money. I can't even begin to explain how difficult it is. If I wasn't a strong person it would reduce me to tears because it upsets me that I have to limit what my daughter can have [. . .] If I'm buying her stuff she has to have stuff that's a little bit cheaper. I have to go into bargain shops to save money, before you know it I'm in Asda saying 'ah Boss, can you put that back please,' coz I can't afford it. That's embarrassing. That is embarrassing. I'm not begging the government for money, I'm not saying you have to give us money, I'm saying support us so that we can prosper and do something for this country. What happened to England? What happened? I used to love this country.
- HM: A lot of talk this week about the relationship between young people and the police. What's your take on that?
- Janelle: I think the police don't give a shit about young people, excuse my French. We're all the same [to them], we're all the same. They don't even know where we've come from. For instance, I'm a mum now, and if a police officer stopped me in 2007, there was a lot of negativity going on in my life. Not one of them would say, 'Why are you on the streets behaving this way?', not knowing that in my household I was was being sexually abused. I couldn't tell nobody, you know what I'm saying. Not knowing that I had to fend for myself, that my mum barely had enough money to feed me and my brother, she probably had to degrade herself a bit to get money, and got herself in trouble for it. That's unfair. That's why a lot of teenagers I know get into selling drugs, because they don't like seeing their parents suffer, or their mum suffer. They're like no, my mum shouldn't have to go and beg for a crisis loan, I should be able to give that to her so let me get involved with drugs. That is what that's what gets a lot of teenagers in jail. They don't do it coz they're greedy and just want money, they do it because they're tired of seeing their loved ones suffer.
Echoes of 1981 - Theresa May at the Reading The Riots conference
Wanting to help develop public understanding of the August disorder motivated me to work on the Reading The Riots project. The idea that we may be able to affect future policy was an exciting one. The conference on December the 14th was the pinnacle where we revealed our findings and they were addressed by prominent figures from the police and politics. The response of Theresa May, the Home Secretary was certain to generate the most interest. Would she accept that our findings pointed to underlying issues that need to be addressed? Would she continue to tow the simplistic Tory party line and insist that the riots were a consequence of wanton criminality?