Vancouver Cops Turn to Facebook to ID Rioters
'Let's label these losers,' Facebook group asks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2011 9:04 AM CDT
People take photos as rioters flip a car in Vancouver.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Vancouver police trying to track down the people who trashed their city have a powerful tool on their side that wasn't around during the 1994 Stanley Cup riot. A Facebook group set up within minutes of the trouble beginning encourages people to help police by posting their pictures of Wednesday night's mayhem, reports the Vancouver Sun. "Let's post those pictures and put a label on the losers that made this city look so bad," urges Vancouver Riot Pics: Post Your Photos, which more than 87,000 people currently "like."

Police grateful for the pile of digital evidence have asked uploaders to geotag their photos to pinpoint the location of incidents. Social media experts are split on whether such extensive use of sites like Facebook by the police is the start of a slippery slope toward citizen surveillance, or a trend that could prevent riots by reminding people that "it's 2011 and everyone has a smartphone that can instantly upload to YouTube," the Province notes. (Click to see the riot photo that's creating the most buzz.)