T Nation

Flash Mobs


What is going on?!? I'm just now reading about these "flash mobs" or "flash robs" or whatever they are called.

Seemingly out of nowhere, groups of between a dozen and 200 people -- primarily African American teenagers -- gather to wreak havoc. With safety in numbers, the youths attack bystanders, break windows and rob anyone nearby.


I don't understand what this is or why it is happening. Can someone with a better knowledge of these events fill me in? WTF? Is this "London" on a smaller scale? Are they increasing? Also, is this related to what happened at the WI State Fair? (fox news seems to think so).

I guess the Philly mayor had some strong words and imposed a strict curfew. Normally, I'm against curfews, but after reading about this...

Anyway, I was wondering what T-Nation thought about this.

Here are some links that I just read in addition to the above:


Just another good reason to have a weapon with you at all times.


in b4 social networking. or after.


My understanding is that a 'flash mob' was the social equivalent of planking- a nuisance people did for attention in public that they could later post about on their livejournals, or whatnot.

For example, at my old college there was a cross-dressing flash-mob that gathered in front of one of the on-campus libraries. At 8:02, they all gathered, swirled around the courtyard, accosted passers-by with vulgar language and lewd gestures, and by 8:10, they had all vanished, after someone else got it on videotape.

This is the first I've heard of the phenomenon being violent and criminal.


Same here. Usually, flash mobs are groups of people that use some form of social media and organize a gathering of small to large sized to converge on one spot all at the same time with some form of theme and after a short period everyone suddenly disperses.

There was one I witnessed at San Diego Sports Arena in January timed for the ending/letting out of the crowd after Disney on Ice. A huge group of cyclists poured through the parking lot causing instant grid lock for 15 minutes.

As a geocacher I know of certain coordinate-based flash mob events being announced. The date, time, GPS coordinates, and theme are announced on geocaching.com and at the appointed time, everyone follows their GPS to a pinpointed location and engage in whatever the theme calls for. The group disperses as quickly as it appeared after 10 minutes.


Yeah. I had never heard of this before today, so I wanted to get T-Nation's take...maybe someone from philly? It seems that there is a "racial" component as well...or so it is claimed. Also, at least once source seemed to imply that it was related to what happened in WI...I'm not sure what to make of that.



My understanding of a flash mob was this:



That's what I thought it was Maka, even saw one live at my school.


Yeah the term "flash Mob" has been changed in the media now it's about these wannabe thugs who walk into a store and rob it. They're sort of like zombies strengh in numbers, the poor guy behind the counter can't do anything and the police WON'T do anything as they want their details and OT and can't worry about real crime and maybe puttign a stop to it before it get's worse. I am in agreement with someone who said more of a reason to have a weapon on hand at all times.


Hmmm... Nope, doesn't seem to have a racial component at all


Is it primarily petty robberies then (similar to the video posted above)? The links in the OP suggested that attacks were going on.

I definitely see what people are saying about taking a weapon. I've been to the WI state fair in previous years, I can't imagine what I would do if that occurred.


Disappointed in the use of the word "Flash". I was thinking it was something else.


Two things I found somewhat humorous in that vid:

  1. A dude knocked an item off a shelf, and a girl politely picked it up and put it back.

  2. The Bob Dylan song "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" can be heard very softly behind the commentary.


A weapon???? But that 6'2 225 pound 17 year old is just a 'child'!!! He's no more of a threat to you than an 8 year old.....

Would you believe their are people that believe ^^^ this statement?


Check out the comments, the man on the street don't see "children" like our leaders on high do.


Where is a runaway Prius when you need one...


Flash mobs in philly are primarily black teens attacking white people. Happening in center city and university city and in broad daylight.


Holy shit there's a ridiculous amount of hot chicks in that video. It's settled, I'm taking a vacation to Sweden next year...


Is Sweden stuck in the 80s or something? Dayglo everywhere.