Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Here’s a First: Man Arrested for Not Using Twitter

Terrifying? Inevitable? Harbinger? In any case, it’s a first: Police in Long Island, New York, have arrested a man for not using Twitter.

Someone named Justin Bieber, who apparently is a teenage singer, was supposed to appear at the Roosevelt Field mall on Friday, but stayed away because the crowd had become too unruly. Police asked a record label executive to help disperse the horde using the messaging service, and claim he didn’t cooperate. More from Newsday:

Police arrested a senior vice president from Bieber’s label, Island Def Jam Records, James A. Roppo, 44, of Hoboken, N.J., saying he hindered their crowd-control efforts by not cooperating.

He was in custody Friday night, pending charges that could include criminal nuisance, endangering the welfare of a minor and obstructing government administration, Smith said.

“We asked for his help in getting the crowd to go away by sending out a Twitter message,” Smith said. “By not cooperating with us we feel he put lives in danger and the public at risk.”

Slightly confusing, because Bieber’s Twitter account–presumably the one the cops wanted Roppo to use–does indeed show that he asked his fans to leave at 4:30 pm Eastern:

bieber twitter

But apparently that was too late:

bieber twitter 2

Here’s what a mall full of unruly Justin Bieber fans looks like, by the way. Not sure how helpful Twitter would have in the face of this:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald