Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Girl Gangs Use Periscope To Organise Huge Fight

Girl Gangs Use Periscope To Organise Huge Fight

The Debrief: Just like Blackberry Messenger in the London 2012 riots, Periscope the app has become the focus rather than the event itself

Ah good, another reason for old people to be scared of technology.

Sunday night saw a huge brawl involving dozens of girls from rival gangs outside Seven Sisters tube station in London. Police, who were called to the scene, broke up the clash quickly, confiscated knuckle dusters and arrested three people. The fight, between the Brikky gang from Brixton and the Totto gang from (yep, you guessed it) Tottenham was supposedly organised over a series of Periscope videos sent back and forth between the rivals.


A Periscope video (it's Twitter's live streaming service which people usually associate with celebs showing off the fun things they're doing) from the user Pengtingxo, whose profile says she's called Leanne and is 15 years old says;

'Hey guys link up. Beef is coming. There's a link up today, Seven Sisters. There's loads of beef, there's this girl who comes and stole something and so there's going to be beef there and I'm going to go there. There's beef guys. Oh you guys aren't interested in the beef. You're useless. There's beef in Seven Sisters. BEEF. When I say beef I mean beef.'

Basically beef was promised. In case you didn't get that.

The only trouble is, implicating a relatively new piece of technology in the crime (obviously we all know what the two year old app is and how it's used but go and quiz someone over the age of 35 who doesn't work in tech and you'll find out that they still think a periscope is that thing they use on submarines)  is that it drives the wedge of misunderstanding between Gen Z and everyone else even deeper.

Cast your mind back, if you will to the London Riots of 2012, when Blackberry Messenger was implicated by the press as the main tool of organisation for the 'hooded youths' to meet up and cause 'chaos'. Remember middle-aged people on TV saying 'Blackberry Messenger' with air quotes and as if it was the first time they'd ever heard it? Yeah. Awkward wasn't it?

Younger people naturally pick up evolving tech quicker than older people. It's why there are people on YouTube who are more famous than Rihanna that you've never heard of. But it's something that should be celebrated, not mocked.

For older generations to make tech the focus of events like these rather than addressing the underlying issues of why the event happened is to patronise a generation that feels even more lost, listless and disenfranchised than the rest of us.

To belittle or dismiss the way Gen Z use technology (and the speeed and ease with which they grasp it) is to prove to them, once again, that they don't have allies looking out for them and, the implications of this, for a generation placed in such desperate situation, doesn't bode well.

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