Even as the scale of rioting in England has rattled nation's political class - so much so that Prime Minister David Cameron had to deliver a stern message to those who are burning down London - the last 72 hours have also revealed the dark side of social networking - the anti-social network.
Rioters are using Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger to co-ordinate attacks and dodge the police. In a terrible free for all, youth caught up in the thrill of criminality are breaking into shops, filling their arms with the loot and vanishing into the night. As London burns, social networking sites are in the line of fire for fueling the riots. Brazen rioters posted pictures of their loot online. When a youth posed with the loot, the show of bravado was one of the many pictures police claimed encouraged others to join the riot.
A rioter posted on a website, "What ever ends [area] you'r from put your ballys [BlackBerry] on link up and cause havoc, just rob everything. Police can't stop it."
BlackBerry handsets were turned into weapons to spread information about where to strike next and how to escape the police.
"It's so bad. Those who are doing it just want to spread mayhem. I'm scared about my safety," a civilian said.
Shocking scenes that played on the streets were posted on the web. A police car being under attack was posted on YouTube to a rap soundtrack. Another showed a bleeding teenager being robbed by thugs pretending to help him.
Those who stripped shelves bare also gave hapless citizens the same treatment. The rioters even robbed people of the very clothes on their backs.
In the line of fire for surrender on the streets, the police have vowed to bring the guilty to book.
"I and my officers will pursue all those that are engaged in criminality and will put them in front of the courts," said Acting Scotland Yard Commissioner Tim Godwin.
The UK Home Secretary said, "Police is looking at the CCTV...will soon catch all those responsible."
There are some things uniting the London rioters. Almost all are under 20. The youngest arrested is 11 years old. Some in the police even believe that the young rioters are recreating scenes from a violent video game Grand Theft Auto.