While London rioters protesting a police shooting used BlackBerry Messenger to organize three consecutive days of riots, hundreds of Britons are showing social media can also be a platform for social good.

Last night, after three days of riots ravaged London, hundreds of people gathered to sweep broken glass, patch broken windows and clean graffiti. The people were not government public works employees but regular citizens who had been mobilized by Twitter to form their own cleanup crews.

Social Movement Born Through Twitter Feed

As Britons sat watching the news and following the hashtag #londonriots, a new trending hashtag emerged from #londonriots to #riotcleanup. Rather than sit idly by as their city was damaged, Londoners decided to take action – and a social movement was born.

The @RiotCleanup Twitter page has gathered over 80,000 followers in less than 24 hours and is consistently broadcasting cleanup locations and times. A similar page has also emerged on Facebook.

The volunteer cleanup was spontaneous and roughly organized. Volunteers brought their own supplies, from brooms to rubber gloves. Some local businesses thanked volunteers by providing food. The Association of British Insurers estimated the damage repairs would run tens of millions of pounds (that’s over $16 million). Government resources are stretched thin – 16,000 police will be patrolling London streets Tuesday, and fire departments are receiving 15 times more emergency calls than usual. These volunteer cleanup efforts help speed recovery and ensure businesses can remain open.

Cleaning Up San Francisco City Hall

Reset frequently talks about the important power of social media to mobilize and empower citizens to make their voices heard. And that’s what our campaign to Reset San Francisco is all about – engaging San Franciscans using web 2.0 tools and social media to re-set the priorities at City Hall.

The London cleanup crews are using social media to clean up their city – and here at Reset, we’re using social media to clean up City Hall.

Please stay in touch and stay engaged. Follow us on Twitter and please join our own cleanup crew on Facebook.