The third Twitter Festival, or ‘Twestival’ to be held in London ended this evening in scenes of drunken chaos as users of the social networking site brawled openly in the streets outside with advocates of a rival social media platform. The evening had begun as a low-key celebration of the empowerment of social media at an intimate venue near London Bridge – a far cry from the madness to follow.
Soon, however, the police were called in, as it became clear that the evening had spiralled out of control.
“It all started when a flash mob of Facebook users turned up looking for trouble,” said an anonymous Twitter user who, having witnessed the events, was so terrified of retribution that he was willing only to be identified as Mr. X. “As always, these Facebookers were bad news – poking us, making comments, saying they ‘liked’ our event…anything to wind us up.”
It wasn’t long before things got nasty. One unidentified man inside the Twestival venue sent a Direct Message right ‘@’ the baying crowd outside in the form of a urine-filled beer bottle, and ugly scenes resulted as a consequence.
The group then spent the next forty-five minutes hunched over their mobile phones in two large camps, updating their respective statuses and profiles to reflect either what they were thinking or what was on their mind, in an attempt to publicly trash-talk their counterparts before the violence got underway.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said, in considerably less than 140 characters, “This is nothing to lol about. I h8 riots. Grrr,” before joining a Facebook group about how he’d really like it if they brought back TFI Friday.
Rumours that the crowd were eventually dispersed with a three hour World of Warcraft tournament are probably only partially true.