The power of a Facebook mob (or two)

Two independent Facebook related news stories caught my eye on Monday:

1) In Sweden about 10 thousand demonstrators showed up in a spontaneous rally against racism. This was less than 24 hours after a new immigrant hostile party Sverigedemokraterna had won the Sunday election and got 20 seats in the Parliament. The demonstration was called together by a young girl, Felicia Margineanu (17), who posted it as a Facebook event and invited her friends.

What excites me about this is how many people can gather on short notice in a completely unplanned event, like political demonstration. Traditionally, demonstrations have been organized by parties, labour unions or other organizations who well in advance arrange buses and other means for their supporters to arrive at the demonstration. Somehow a completely un-organized demonstration like this sends a stronger and more genuine message, in my opinion.

And it is all thanks to the Internet! Well, Facebook at least.

2) Less excited was the mother of Rebecca Javeleau who found out that her 14 year old daughter had invited a few of her closest friends to a birthday party at her home address. Thanks to the way she had her privacy settings set on that event, 21 thousand people RSVPd! The party is now canceled and police has promised to patrol the streets in case someone actually shows up.

They are a powerful thing, the Internets!

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