Many people blame social media for the inflammation of the UK riots situation – Blackberry Messenger is tainted with the shadow of having been the platform for the organisation of the rioting gangs and Twitter is forever criticised for causing mass panic and misinformation among the general public.
However, much good is coming from social media too. I have already commented on the use of Twitter to collate pictures and videos of looters for identification purposes. Today, I came across an idea that I found really touching.
Ashraf Haziq, the Malaysian student who was injured in the riots and mugged while he was supposedly helped to his feet by some looters, has had what can only be described as a pretty shocking taste of Britain. It seems only right that something should be done to make amends, to reverse the poor opinion that he must hold of this country based on the horrific events of the last few nights and the appallingly callous and criminal way in which he was treated by British citizens.
This was the view of Jamie Cowen, a Twitter user who has taken action by setting up a website and campaign to ‘do something nice for Ashraf’. Anyone who wants to get involved can visit the website and vote for a nice thing to do for him from a selection, while donations of £2 are also welcomed. Any money left over will go to the riot clean up effort and restoring the state of affected communities.
What a brilliant idea. Like the Broom Army before them, those who want to do something nice for Ashraf are proving that the rioters are the minority and the majority of British citizens care about other individuals, their communities and this country.