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In his Aug. 3 column [“Young park attackers must do hard time”; Aug. 3, 2011], Jim Longworth writes about the recent string of mob crimes that were organized with precision over social networks. He also briefly — and inaccurately — described the decade-long phenomena of flash mobs, a spontaneous and harmless group activity done the world over still today.

I take issue with Longworth likening group crimes (in both name and character) to flash mobs simply because they both use social networks to organize themselves. If that were the case, one might also say that Facebook is used by youth to organize mass binge drinking, or Twitter is used to facilitate hate speech and bullying.

The violent and destructive activities committed via social networks are simply a new version of organized crime and should be referred to as such. As an organizer of traditional flash mobs, I’d appreciate if we could all avoid sullying the name of such a joyful and peaceful concept such as flash mobs in the future.

Caroline Martin, Greensboro