On Monday 1st November the Giants won the Baseball World* Series. The last time they won was in 1954, so to say that fans were a little excited would be putting it mildly!
As fans took to the streets all over the city problems inevitably broke out, with one particular incident in the Mission involving a Fire Truck that needed a police escort to get through the crowds.
The most unexpected and unusual thing was not the win itself, or even people’s overzealous celebrations afterwards … it was the use of social media at the riots.
People were using Twitter, Ustream, Flickr, and yes, even FourSquare.
Tweets were being posted from all over the city using the hashtag #sfriot with links to video and pictures of what was going on in the hot zones, and some were even listening to the SF Police Department radio scanner online and tweeting the updates for those who were having difficulty connecting to the over-capacitated stream.
Twitter became a more up-to-date information source than official news channels.
The most incredulous occurrence of all however was the use of FourSquare during the riots. Several people created checkpoints and tweeted them out all over the twittersphere … it was hard to tell whether people were more excited about the Giants’ win or the fact that they might get their swarm badge!
It’s hard to tell whether this ‘on-the-ground, as-it-happens’ stream of information is for better or for worse. As the masses cut news teams and journalists out of the equation, people ask if the information is reliable and can be trusted? … but we ask that of mainstream media sources all the time, media such as news channels, which are, at the end of the day, businesses which need to be able to turn a profit.
Either way it seems a trend that is here to stay, at least for now, and so … it looks like the revolution will in fact be tweeted.
* As a non-American I find the use of the work ‘world’ for a league that only includes the US and Canada to be a little strange …