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

Chilliwack-Hope MP gives a pre-Christmas ribbing in rhyme in Parliament

Conservative Mark Strahl gets his poem in before Liberal Rodger Cuzner rises to do same

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

Man accused of shooting at border agents loses final bid to appeal extradition order

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford following cross-border manhunt in 2013

Frustrated federal workers rally against Phoenix again at Chilliwack MP’s office

Strahl backs workers even sponsoring a petition to government to scrap the troubled payroll system

VIDEO: JRfm’s Holiday Fun Day sets up shop again at Langley Events Centre

Great music accompanies family fun as JRfm raises diapers and donations for Basics for Babies.

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Update: Small fire near Maple Ridge tent city

Occurred outside camp Wednesday night

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15- to 19-year-olds, including one in Vernon

Military life gives way to chance as author

Retired Chilliwack officer pens book about life in Afghanistan

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Most Read