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Are Tweeters liable for riots they cause?




The tweet heard round Hollywood Blvd.
The tweet heard round Hollywood Blvd.
Screengrab from Twitter.com

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Hollywood was caught off-guard last night when the usually formal Graumann's Chinese Theater became the setting of a wee riot. An invite-only movie premiere about a popular rave scene was set to screen. Instead hundreds of uninvited fans arrived for what they thought was a block party. So who was throwing this spontaneous bash? All signs point to a DJ with tens of thousands of followers on Twitter. Throughout yesterday afternoon he posted messages about the "power of social media" and a very clear: "ME+BIG SPEAKERS+MUSIC=BLOCK PARTY!!!" He even posted a photo of a truck bed stacked with speakers (Kaskade was booked to play the official movie after-party). More fans turned out than expected and wouldn't disperse after police arrived. Up to a hundred police officers in riot gear used "bean-bag guns" on the crowd. Some of the rioters jumped on police cars. More than a dozen people were detained then released. Ultimately three people are under arrest today. Should anyone else be rounded up for what happened? Who is responsible for the damage and the policing costs? Should the tweeter be punished? Is this the city's jurisdiction?

Guest:

Lauri Stevens, a social media consultant to law enforcement agencies. Stevens is the founder of the annual Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement conference, which helps police departments from across the country make better use of social media.