As I said in an interview with CBS Early Show (scroll down to watch), Flash Mobs are a fun and energetic way for large groups of people to use text messaging, Twitter, Facebook and other tech communications tools to get together in person. I covered the great snowball fight in DC’s Dupont Circle this winter that was organized this way and there have been many other examples of other great flash mobs.
Unfortunately, Philadelphia officials are now dealing with flash mobs that have turned ugly. Kids are gathering in the city and some are involved in some not-so-great stuff. As the video shows, city officials are clamping down. Of course, they need to do what they must to protect life and property, but I sure hope this doesn’t give flash mobs a bad name.
In a blog post on this subject, my ConnectSafely.org co-director Anne Collier wonders, “Is it possible that all these adults publicly modeling disrespectful, degrading behavior are creating a new, very destructive social norm? Could cyberbullying in schools and teens’ destructive behavior on city streets have something to do with that?”