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Published August 9th 2011

The London riots: #riotcleanup – the social media hero

Social media and particularly BlackBerry Messenger has, to some extent, been blamed for fuelling the London riots since Saturday. This morning, however, social media is being hailed a hero. was set up by Dan Thompson from Worthing at around midnight last night, to rally communities hit by the riots and inspire others to help in the clean up. The clean-up message has been spreading ever since, with more than 8k posts by 9am this morning from those willing and ready to help.

Tracking the mentions of riotcleanup through Brandwatch, the campaign has proved pretty impressive with 29k mentions so far with the top sites in passing the news as follows:



Fig 1. Timewheel of mentions 09/08/2011

Timewheel of #riotcleanup

From the timewheel of mentions, we can see that the campaign really started to gather momentum at around 8am this morning with around 8k mentions by 9am. As the traditional media picked up on the story and started cover it live from the scene, the numbers have now reached 29k.

Here is the wordcloud since the site was set up:

Fig 2. Wordcloud for riotcleanup 09/08/2011

#riotcleanup Wordcloud


Finally, as far as sentiment is concerned, this has been mainly neutral (23%positive). Looking at individual posts, most contain info on location and times rather than praise, but this is shifting as the day progresses.

We’ll continue to track this and keep you posted with more info.




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