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Facebook calls last orders on the underground

Alex Christie

1 June 2008

Boris Johnson’s first act as Mayor of London was to announce that as of 1st June, drinking would no longer be allowed on the London Underground.

Tubeparty

Whilst this measure is largely approved by most, as boisterous football fans fuelled by Stella are pretty much the only thing that can be heard above your ipod whilst nodding off on the tube on a Saturday afternoon, there are those who oppose such change.

Of course, no cause these days is without representation on Facebook – and subsequently many groups have popped up over the last few weeks promoting a last ditch party on the circle line on May 31st, with fancy dress, music, and of course – a few drinks. In fact, confirmed attendees on Facebook were recorded at as high as 10 thousand.

Whilst on the surface this all sounds like a rather sentimental send off to the latest in the line of proposed restrictions to people’s social liberties, trouble was afoot – as things turned sour with 17 arrests made, 7 tube staff and police officers assaulted, and 6 tube stations closed after trains were subject to considerable damage.

After studying press reaction to the parties – it seems like Facebook is being billed as the villain of the piece, along with the minority who spoiled what was supposedly intended as a civilised affair.

It remains to be seen whether Facebook will at some point intervene with potentially problematic groups, or whether such groups will prove to draw too much bad press to the social networking giant. For the moment, it seems to be routinely forming part of our social interactions, whether innocent and trouble free – or resulting in arrests. The only certain thing is, there will be less boisterous drinkers ruining my snooze home on the tube next week.

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