After-school Stampede or Flash Mob Burglary?
October 28th, 2009

A recent blog-posting from AirAmerica highlighted a recent surveillance video depicting youth rampaging through a convenience store.  The video in question was published with dramatized commentary portraying the youth as miscreants (literally a plague of locust) bent on using flash-mobs to bring chaos and destruction to “everything in their path” in Long Island, New York.

“It was only a matter of time before a flash mob was used for evil. The social media phenomenon has officially been tainted by these 60 high school students who decided to conduct a coordinated robbery of a grocery store”

The “evil” of this Flash-mob has spilled over into discussion forums with fascinating commentary,  for example:

“Something like this [teenage flash-mob] would almost have to be coordinated in some way at least a time and location would have to be shared. I am assuming that at least some of it was done via text and cell phone work and that will leave a nice trail for the cops to follow maybe even leading to a ring leader. Of course it could just be a word of mouth deal passed around at school but I’ll bet there are some text messages out there. Technology is really just an extension of the spear it can be used to feed your family IE as beneficial or it can be used to kill your neighbor its just a tool its the person that makes it evil of good (or neutral).”

As a participatory observatory and social commentary portal, SmartMobs is highlighting this event in order to encourage a meaningful dialogue about the consequences of “Smart Mobs” and the power of the mobile many.  It is my personal opinion that we should not jump to conclusions and lay judgment on this particular event too quickly.  This appears to be a random after-school stampede, and not necessarily a flash-mob. The only technology that we are able to verify and witness  regarding this event is the artifact of the surveillance video, a product of the “always on panopticon” not the mobile technologies supposedly used to incite a flash-mob.

Have a look at the VIDEO HERE and let us know what you think.

Teenage Flash Mob Burglary (VIDEO) – Really – Air America

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