The incidents in the Colonial Zone sound the alarms on irresponsible use of social media
Santo Domingo.- The events that unfolded over the weekend in the Colonial Zone have raised serious concerns about citizen security and highlighted the negative consequences of the irresponsible use of social media, which can lead to street chaos and public disorder.
What began as a seemingly innocent joke or a quest for personal self-promotion quickly escalated into a disruption of public order, violations of private property, and unrest among peaceful residents. All of this occurred within a mere square kilometer, in an area with historic significance as the first capital in the New World.
The root of this urban disorder stemmed from a careless and vague digital message about a sum of money hidden at an unspecified location in the Colonial Zone. It indirectly called for a “treasure hunt,” prompting individuals to scour every corner and property in the blocks that make up the oldest part of Santo Domingo.
The result was a tumultuous situation that serves as a stark reminder of the potential risks if such an event were to occur in a more sensitive location, such as near the National Palace or in government ministries with restricted access.
While the power of social media to mobilize crowds is not new and has been witnessed in various social movements worldwide, this particular incident in the capital lacked the depth of political content seen in movements like the Arab Spring or protests in Hong Kong, Chile, India, or Venezuela. Instead of sociopolitical demands, the mob in the Colonial Zone seemed driven by a desire for easy money and a sense of digital frenzy.
The cobblestone streets, rich in history, were transformed into a chaotic scene and a massive public restroom, leaving a strong stench that lingered even on Sunday morning.
The government has announced an investigation into the excesses, which were met with an inadequate response from law enforcement authorities. The unruly individuals roamed freely through the Colonial Zone, vandalizing businesses, disturbing residents, and causing damage while searching for the promised two hundred thousand pesos. The absence of a timely and robust law enforcement response was notable.
However, concerns arise about the investigation, given the propensity of ministers, municipal authorities, and political leaders to capitalize on sensational media opportunities. They seem to prioritize entertainment value over decency and good citizenship, reveling in scandalous media spaces. This opportunistic approach undermines basic principles of prudence and responsible leadership.
The vulgar behavior, practical jokes, and disregard for social norms seem to take precedence over marketing considerations. These moments of fun and self-promotion on radio shows and social networks often reach broad segments of the population, including those who engage in uncivilized conduct.