EDITORIAL: Rioters damage has spread online

Officially, the Vancouver police department says they had last Wednesday’s Stanley Cup under control by 11:45 p.m. But the thuggery that smashed and burned its way through the city’s downtown continues; it’s moved online.

There’s no doubt the Internet played a role in the mayhem.

There have been reports of Twitter postings and text messages being exchanged early Wednesday afternoon, long before the puck dropped to begin game seven of the Stanley Cup final, that trouble was brewing. And when it did get started, it seemed everyone wanted to capture a moment to post on their blog or Facebook page; young people posed and smiled in front of burning cars and smashed storefronts for their friends holding aloft a cell phone camera.

In the hours and days after order was restored, the fallout from the riot moved into the virtual world.

Some of it has been good; volunteers were organized via social media for a morning-after clean up, individual acts of heroism were highlighted and lauded, an international sensation was created when a photo of a young couple exchanging a kiss amidst the mayhem went viral.

But much has been as hateful as the riot itself. The very same mob mentality that rampaged through Vancouver’s streets has now infected its online afterlife. Some people who’ve had their photos posted on websites seeking to identify the riot’s troublemakers have been harassed, their families threatened.

There’s no doubt the people who participated in the violence and mayhem should be held accountable. Many of them are now learning valuable lessons about the consequences of their behaviour that night and the fragility of online anonymity. But virtual vigilantism only perpetuates the ugliness that fueled the riot, and further blackens the city’s already charred reputation.

Leave it to police and legal authorities to investigate what happened that night and prosecute who was responsible.

—Burnaby NewsLeader

 

Just Posted

Some Hope school buses will soon have seatbelts

Parents asked to encourage children to comply with new safety rules

Threats to the Fraser River at a ‘new zenith,’ says river conservationist

The ‘Heart of the Fraser’ should be deemed ecologically significant according to ORC statement

Fraser Valley Regional District administration/government costs set to rise by 18%

Mosquito control and fire dispatch costs also set for increase

Man killed in crash due to ‘absolutely treacherous’ conditions on Coquihalla

Winter means icy roads are dangerous and drivers should be careful, RCMP say

Annual Stuff the Cruiser event planned for Saturday in Hope

Bring non-perishable foods to help fill up police car

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Carriageworks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Chilliwack mom gives back to neonatal unit with Christmas stocking drive

Ashley Durance is paying it forward to other families and their babies following daughter’s NICU stay

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read