THE shocking story of the teenage boy who was stoned and beaten in the street, which featured on the front page of last week’s Advertiser, demonstrated the growing influence of the internet and social media.
Within hours of our story being published and then posted online, it had been shared hundreds of times on Facebook and retweeted by many more users on Twitter. By the end of the day it had been picked up by the national Press.
Comments poured in, again on Facebook and through the Advertiser’s website. Without exception, they expressed support for the young victim and revulsion at the actions of the two youths responsible.
Sixteen-year-old Thomas Birks, who is autistic, had summoned the courage to walk into Newark on his own for one of the first times.