Network-centric rioters

Network-centric advocacy in action:

Young rioters are using blog messages to incite violence and cellphones to organize attacks in guerrilla-like tactics they have copied from anti-globalisation protesters, security experts say.
Reuters: French youths turn to Web, cellphones to plan riots

The French government says they haven’t the resources to keep up with the all the blogs discussing the riots, not to mention SMS messages on cell phones. Even though what they are organizing is unfortunately violent, it’s a great illustration of how ineffective a bloated top-down institution is against a distributed social network.

2 thoughts on “Network-centric rioters

  1. The interesting thing about this type of Network-centric advocacy is that it is no more unusual to the people using it as posting flyers and using a megaphone was to previous generations. I would guess that as the barriers to entry continue to drop (cost, accessibility, usability) we will see even more “extreme” use.

  2. If you want to learn more about this sort of “open-source warfare” I highly recommend the Global Guerillas blog by John Robb. “Networked tribes, infrastructure disruption, and the emerging bazaar of violence.” Guaranteed to scare the pants off systems thinkers everywhere.

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