Social Media Phoenix: Vancouver Sets Their City, Social Media On Fire

Let’s get this straight right off the bat, this isn’t another article judging Vancouver for the riots last night or condemning the city or it’s residents as a classless place. This is a positive and hopeful piece, one showing how the good people of Vancouver are using social media to take their city back from a violent minority.

Social Media Phoenix: Vancouver Begins To Reclaim And Rebuild Their City Through Social Media

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Today was supposed to be a great day in Vancouver, especially for Salty Waffle and our friends at Faronics and Odddog Media. June 15th marked our ambitious completion date for Faronics’ amazing new website and of course, game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in which the Canucks were supposed to skate to victory.

Unfortunately, only one of those happened and the results for Vancouver was a city on fire. When the news came on showing video of the riots following the Canucks loss, we knew it was going to reverberate through social media. Cars on fire, broken windows, fights, looting, tear gas, and senseless violence rocked the streets and sent Twitter abuzz with riot related tweets.

Thankfully, most of the people reacting online had more sense than the minority on the ground that perpetuated a bad situation. It looks like the social media blaze the riot kicked off is going to end up doing some real good.

  • Facebook: Healing has already begun thanks to some efforts taking place on Facebook. Groups are popping up all over in an effort to gather photos in hopes of identifying law breakers. On top of that, one Facebook event in particular has already seen over 11,000 people volunteer to help in the clean-up efforts.
  • Twitter: Most tweets about the event were sorrowful, many embarassed residents expressing their sadness over their city being ripped apart and represented so poorly. Trending hashtags include #riot, #canucks, #canucksriot, #Vancouver, and the phrase ‘Dear Vancouver’ which is being used in a variety of ways to talk about the riot. The mayor has posted on his Twitter urging residents to keep their photos so that they may be used to identify those breaking laws during the riot.
  • YouTube: Who knows exactly how many videos have already been posted, but some of the popular ones are gaining views very quickly. Mashable has a video gallery of riot related clips. We’re going to be watching this video in particular to see how viral it goes. Sadly, as hard as this kid is taking the loss, he behaved better than many adults. YouTube videos have had a sobering effect on people, many of the videos getting loads of comments expressing sadness and disappointment.
  • Blogs: Blogs responded quickly as well, many pieces taking shots at Vancouver. Some stuck to sports, but it was impossible foe the riot not to pervade the conversation surrounding the game. Mashable’s post on the topic is already showing up on the first page of Google results for just the word ‘Canucks’. A particular Tumblr blog seeking to help identify law breakers during the riot is blowing up as well. It has already seen a great response with picture uploads and is working with the Facebook group mentioned earlier to identify people.

There is no way to sugar coat it, it was a dark night for the city of Vancouver. Repercussions of this riot will persist and it will be a black eye on the city for years to come, fairly or not. However, out of all the violence, looting, and law breaking, some good has already come from the ashes. A hurting community has been able to ban together quickly to get their city back on track  and that is thanks in large part to social media.

We wish everyone in Vancouver all the best and hope you are all safe now in the wee hours of the morning. If you would like to help in the clean-up join the event here and if you have information on crimes post pictures here or send an email to [email protected]


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