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Using Crowdsourcing To Identify Vancouver Rioters 397

Fudge Factor 3000 writes "The Canucks' loss in the last game of the Stanley Cup Finals resulted in complete mayhem in downtown Vancouver. Everything from upturned cars set alight to looting was commonplace. Unfortunately, most of the perpetrators were able to maintain their anonymity by disappearing into the crowds. Fortunately, bystanders took several pictures and videos of the carnage. Now, websites (including both Facebook and Tumblr) have set up pages to use crowdsourcing to identify the hooligans."
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Using Crowdsourcing To Identify Vancouver Rioters

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  • Yay for Facebook! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZipK ( 1051658 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @08:02PM (#36469738)
    Facebook's greatest value to humanity may be as a honeypot to stupid people who post their misdeeds for all the public (and law enforcement agencies) to see.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2011 @08:18PM (#36469866)

    Your car wasn't totaled in Vancouver, was it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2011 @08:19PM (#36469870)

    Really? Really?! Did you even see a single picture from the mayhem? There was so much property damage only because the police was too busy saving people from mob beat downs!
    Drop your stupid dogmatic devotion to your specific "ism", get your head out of your ass and actually look at the world around you as it is once in a while.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2011 @08:24PM (#36469910)

    Those "isolated property crimes" you speak of will cost Vancouver residents and businesses millions of dollars, damages that aren't covered for riots. Not to mention the black eye Vancouver gets now on the world stage.

    You must be just willfully blind or just plain stupid not see the violence going on last night.

    In short, you are a fucking moron who has tried to inject your naive and childlike political views into a serious, actual issue.

  • Charge the NHL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @08:38PM (#36470042) Homepage Journal

    Charge the NHL with inciting riot and civil disorder, with co-defendents Vancouver and Boston.

    Or maybe we should outlaw sports completely, seeing as they seem to cause insanity. :p

  • by Fractal Dice ( 696349 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @08:43PM (#36470080) Journal
    The problem is that it's not really the drunks you want to get (despite the fact that they did a lot of the damage), it's the instigators in bandanas who started trouble then melted away into the crowd once they had set things in motion. I'm not saying the stupid people shouldn't be dragged out and shamed, but don't pat yourself on the back if you're catching only the "useful idiots"
  • by stoanhart ( 876182 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @08:43PM (#36470086)

    Wow, how do you mange to sound more like a dick with each word you write?

    You realize this isn't some vigilante man hunt, right? It's just people looking at pics of crimes in progress and seeing if they recognize anyone. If they do, they report them to the police and let justice take its course.

    As to this:

    "At least rioters are just violent pricks and adrenaline-fueled idiots; you guys sound like the sort of vengeful, soulless libertarians who would shoot a man rather than let him walk away with your TV"

    I don't even know what to say. People smashing property for no reason are worse than people trying to defend their own property. Go fuck yourself.

  • by Mia'cova ( 691309 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @08:43PM (#36470094)

    What are you even talking about? First, these are all videos citizens recorded of crimes happening in front of their eyes in public streets. None of this is coming from the police. If someone is identified, a police expert will evaluate that. If it looks like a match, they'll press charges. If there's enough evidence to convince a judge, they'll be prosecuted. Do you think we run our justice system with some facebook/hot-or-not hybrid? Wow.

  • by dala1 ( 1842368 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @08:51PM (#36470152)
    People in Vancouver are standing up and saying this type of behaviour is unacceptable. Last night, they did this by taking pictures, creating forums to share evidence, and guarding businesses. Today they gathered downtown to help with the cleanup. For those of you searching for an Orwellian scenario in all of this, there's nothing to find.
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jjohnson ( 62583 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:05PM (#36470270) Homepage

    Vancouver housing prices weren't the cause of the riot. Neither were disaffected youth angry about the cost of living.

    While the housing market is grossly overinflated, the rental market is sane. Young people simply rent instead of buying, and rent quite nice places too because the main driver of inflating housing costs are foreign investors buying up all the condo stock. Metro Vancouver's unemployment rate (7.6%) is lower than Canada's overall, and has been pretty constant for the last decade. There's no large, pent up reservoir of anger.

    The cause of the riots was 1) corralling 100,000 fans downtown to watch the game on outdoor screens, and 2) a large portion of those fans being drunk suburban kids looking to get their riot on. Blame lackluster police presence if you want. It was hooliganism pure and simple. Look at the photos. Look at their expensive shoes. Those Canucks jerseys they're all wearing aren't cheap. They're young, middle-class drunks having fun.

  • by Annirak ( 181684 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:47PM (#36470490)

    I should clarify; around slashdot, we're awfully big on civil liberties, personal privacy and libertarianism (Hey, government, stay out of my business!). That said, we don't spend nearly enough time on civic duty. Civic duty and civil liberties are inextricably linked: a society will remain well ordered if either, there are no civil liberties and no civic duty, or there are lots of civil liberties, but they come at a price: that of civic duty.

    Consequently, if you want the government to stay out of your life, you owe your society the duty of reporting it if your neighbor steals from the convenience store while you're watching. The police will follow up on the allegations, do their own investigation, and they may ask you to testify. But that's the price of civic liberties.

  • by Caerdwyn ( 829058 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:48PM (#36470496) Journal

    It doesn't matter whether there were "anarchists" looking to cause trouble by "starting things". It's zero excuse at all. Everyone who participated, regardless of whether they intended to riot as a premeditated act or not, is a willing participant. A criminal. "I saw someone else doing it first!" is not an excuse to break windows, stab people, torch cop cars, or loot. And it should not be cause to reduce the punishment.

    Stop making excuses and pointing fingers. The reason that people rioted is that every last one of them who participated wanted to riot, had a choice to make on whether to riot or not, and chose to break windows, to attack people, to trash whatever car they were closest to, and to steal from stores. There are no extenuating circumstances. If a thousand people did it, a thousand people need to be in jail, not ten or a hundred. This isn't "harmless childhood pranks" or "social justice" (I swear, I want to shoot people who claim that as an excuse for stealing big-screen TVs. Literally.); it's blood and thuggery.

    Extra punishment for agent provacateurs? Yes. Free pass for drunks and hockey-garbage? NO.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jjohnson ( 62583 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @10:04PM (#36470580) Homepage

    I don't dispute the problems with poverty in Vancouver. I see it every day. My wife teaches at a high school in Whalley, Surrey. I go through Chinatown a couple days a week.

    What I'm disputing is that the riot was caused by social unrest. The pictures tell an obvious tale: half the crowd is wearing expensive Canucks jerseys and have nice haircuts. The ones who've been identified from the photos are rich kids from the burbs. If you see sunglasses, they're expensive designer sunglasses. This was hooliganism, not the poor rising up.

    Foreign investment in real estate is a mixed blessing. It drives up prices, preventing the poor and the young from owning property, but it also gluts the rental market driving rental prices down. A common complaint among investors is that they're unable to finance the purchase solely by renting it out. The only unambiguously good thing is that the demand for more condos allows the city to require an apportionment of new construction to go for social housing.

  • by Maow ( 620678 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @11:05PM (#36470832) Journal

    Next time, you should do it by going out on the streets and punching in the face every idiot who tries to set a car on fire or break a shop window. Then there won't be a need to clean the streets up next morning.

    (but yeah, taking a photo first is a good idea anyway)

    There was a video played on CBC TV this morning, submitted by a spectator, presented without commentary due to its shocking nature:

    A (rather large) man trying to prevent looting of The Bay on Georgia Street getting swarmed and getting the snot kicked out of him for his efforts. Final frame is him motionless on the street.

    I sympathize with your initial reaction, but it's definitely not a wise one. Much better to get pic's of criminal acts, then casually FOLLOW perpetrators, getting further pictures a block away when the face mask is down. Should be easy to remain unnoticed due to the crowds & number of cameras.

  • by QuasiEvil ( 74356 ) on Friday June 17, 2011 @12:13AM (#36471142)

    No kidding - if one of those had been one of my cars, I'd be calling for blood. I like my stuff way more than I like 99.999% of humanity, and if you're one of the rioting whackjobs that thinks damaging other people's stuff without any provocation is acceptable, then I personally think you should be removed from society or possibly existence. I've never understood why people think property crimes are somehow trivial. My stuff represents an investment of my time and effort to acquire, and a lot of it has a lot of sentimental value to me. I'd feel personally violated if somebody just destroyed it.

  • by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Friday June 17, 2011 @03:03AM (#36471820) Homepage Journal

    >>I suggest http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/02/10/deindividuation/ [youarenotsosmart.com] for further reading.

    So your article says that in anonymous crowds, people can act like idiots? And get away with it? Astonishing research. Anyone who has ever participated in an online community knows that's how it works.

    It's still absolutely no excuse to riot.

  • by KozmoStevnNaut ( 630146 ) on Friday June 17, 2011 @04:54AM (#36472180)

    Let me get this straight.

    You're glorifying and condoning destruction of property, violence and cheering for more violence and senseless destruction. You're also using "mob energy" and "excitement" as justification for said senseless destruction and violence.

    All because you think the city you're living in is a bit dull. What the fuck is wrong with you?

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury