Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A riot of communication

One aspect of the current milieu that has probably struck us all is the way in which rioters have managed to coordinate themselves and evade the police. As has been mentioned on numerous broadcasts, the fragmented nature of the riots has caused difficulties for controlling forces used to dealing with large swathes of people. In addition, whereas in the past police have been able to mobilise quickly through private radio, protesters and other groups have had to rely on public tools such as Twitter, etc. Communication and media is central here too but the tool of choice has been the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) network. The New Scientist has a useful little article here explaining both how it works and how it can be hacked.

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I am director of the Media and Persuasive Communication (MPC) network at Bangor University where I also lecture on political-economy of the media. I am currently working on a book provisionally titled Deconstructing Privacy for Peter Lang and leading two empirical projects in connection with privacy perception and the use of new media for smoking cessation. I am author of Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and Process (Routledge, 2013); The Mood of Information: A Critique of Behavioural Advertising (Continuum, 2011); and Digital Advertising (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009). Please contact me at mcstay@bangor.ac.uk if you are interested in Ph.D supervision or consultancy services.