Amid the U.K. riots, a Twitter folk hero emerges

A young Bristol DJ cycles around town tweeting accurate information to counter false rumors.

During the recent riots in the U.K., a Twitter folk hero emerged—a young club DJ who cycled around Bristol tweeting accurate information about the disturbances.

Leon Piers, a 21-year-old house music blogger and producer, set up his feed @BristolRiots the morning after the city was racked by looting, attacks on shops, clashes with police and arson, the Guardian and other media reported.

“In little over a day, his feed had attracted more than 3,000 followers and applause from the city’s police, councillors and local media,” the paper stated. “It was cited as further evidence that social media, abused by rioters and their supporters, could have great positive value.”

Backed by several friends, Piers vowed only to tweet information that was confirmed by photographs or phone calls. He planned to keep everyone honest by shaming any purveyors of false information.

“If they lied to me,” he vowed, “I would post their name on Twitter and tell people they were lying about riots.”

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