Outraged fans aim to ID rioters one click at a time
The hunt is now on to identify the perpetrators of the orgy of destruction and looting in downtown Vancouver in the wake of the Canucks Stanley Cup loss.
Metro Vancouverites quickly banded together on social media, vowing to out the offenders, pooling photos and video captured during Wednesday night's riot.
Many of those responsible made no attempt to hide their faces, sometimes mugging for photos that were widely shared online.
They show young men overturning vehicles, removing merchandise and stuffing a rag into the gas tank of a police car.
The site identifyrioters.com allows users to browse photos and identify rioters and looters by their Facebook name. Photos and names are sent to the Vancouver Police Department once multiple users have made a positive ID.
Also being used is the Vancouver 2011 Riot Criminals List on Tumblr at http://vancityriotcriminals.tumblr.com.
Multiple Facebook pages also urge followers to identify perpetrators from photos shared there.
"Identify them, charge them, fine them and make every one of them do 1,000 hours of community service," Brian White said on Facebook, reflecting the feelings of many online.
More than 130 people were treated for tear gas or pepper spray exposure and mostly minor injuries.
Rioters smashed windows and looted stores, including The Bay and London Drugs.
"Where were your stupid kids, friends and family last night when they walked out the door carrying weapons and booze?" Noella Lau demanded on Facebook. "ID them and own up."
Jane Lushington Daly added: "These cowardly morons should have every last dime drained from their personal bank accounts to pay for the damage."
SFU communications professor Peter Chow-White said people flocked to social media to express their disgust and embarrassment and to document the violence.
"People used social media has an alternative form of media for information, to warn friends and family away from hot areas and to get out of the downtown core," he added.
A huge volume of video and photos captured by the thousands of smart phone users on the streets will be coupled with surveillance video at stores.
Police were also documenting the actions of individuals as well as reaching out over Twitter to ask people for the photos on the hundreds of cameras," Chow-White said.
Another Facebook group sprang up to help coordinate cleanup efforts Thursday morning.
For more information on how to send photos or information to the VPD, see related story: