Moral panic and social media

I am going to present an example of moral panic happened in France in 2009-2010.

This moral panic started with an invitation on Facebook from a group called « huge aperitif » (in French apero géant). This group invited people to create a huge gathering in the place in a big city. People had to come with alcohol, food what they wanted, the aim is to be together and to drink.

The group on Facebook was anonymous, but more and more groups were created.

The first one was in Nantes on the 10th November 2009. 3000 people are present. The number of people is surprising, because they did not expect so many. There were not important problems, just some alcoholic comas.

The second one was in Rennes on the 25th March 2010. The objective was to break the record of Nantes, and this evening (5000 peoples were gathered). Most of people were students. There ware 12 alcoholic comas and one attack. This gathering launched back the trends of the « huge aperitif ».

The third was in Brest on the 9 april 2010. 7000 people. The government informed that five people had been in hospital, one person in a alcoholic coma and twelve peoples had been questioned by the police. The government begined to be worried about this type of event and try to forbid them. It is more or less successful.

The fourth on the 12nd May 2010. Around 10 000 peoples are gathered at Montpellier in spite of the interdiction of the prefecture. 23 people had been curated after be fallen on the floor or injuries or alcohol. Height had been to the hospital.

In the same time, in Nantes, the fifth apero is organiized. almost 10 000 people were there.370 guardians were there for the security. The sale of alcohol was forbidden in a large part of the city. In spite of the actions, 41 people had been questioned by police for drugs, violence, damages, drunkenness. Above all, one man is died after be fallen of a bridge. It is the first death during this kind of event.

The mayor of the city spoke about a national problem and asked at the government to take measures. This event is in front page of all the newspapers, TV, radio.

How control this kind of events? How protect people? How avoid alcoholic coma and damages? Politicians and media speak about and focus on the danger of this gathering and the presence of teenagers.

Quickly the problem moved and was focused on the consumption of alcohol by teenager and students. The traditional French aperitif is moving in a « binge-drinking » (drink a maximum of alcohol in a minimum time). Furthermore, the event happened in important student cities.wire netting Paris

The trend of this « huge aperitif » got breathless, with the reaction of the government. For the gathering of Paris on the 23rd May 2010, 50.000 people were expected. But only 1000 people came because of the huge security organization. The place was bordered by wire netting, to have alcohol was forbidden, the sale of alcohol was forbidden all the day around the place, 50 police vans, eighteen containers for bottles. The town council distribuated free juice and bottle of water and asked at people to avoid to come in this place or around this place if they could.

I think it was the beginning of a moral panic because government acted with a huge security system as a violent demonstration. It informed media that the event could be very dangerous because of the consumption of alcohol and drug and the number of people.

security system

Sources: (French articles)

http://www.letelegramme.com/ig/generales/regions/bretagne/apero-geant-course-au-record-et-premier-mort-13-05-2010-913211.php

http://www.rue89.com/2010/05/14/deces-apres-un-apero-geant-facebook-nest-pas-en-cause-151343

http://www.france-info.com/france-regions-2010-05-13-l-apero-geant-facebook-fait-un-mort-a-nantes-441648-9-13.html

http://www.webdorado.fr/2010/06/06/france-facebook-et-aperos-geants-le-choc-des-civilisations

http://www.parismatch.com/Actu-Match/Societe/Actu/Apero-geant-Paris-battu-par-KO-188531/

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