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Who Invented Flash Mobs

A flash mob is a group of people that have prearranged to appear in public and perform an unusual act. It usually begins with one person starting the act and other people begin to spontaneously join in with the act. Once it is over the mob usually quickly disperses. The flash mob was originally intended to be a social experiment that would allow for spontaneity and highlight the culture of conformity. Since this time the flash mob has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon and many different groups have began these type of performances. The videos of these events are some of the most popular on the Internet. Do you want to know who invented this type of group performance? Continue reading to find out.

Who invented the flash mob?
The flash mob was invented in 2003 by Bill Wasik, who was the senior editor of Harper’s Magazine at the time. His first attempt at organizing a flash mob in a Manhattan store was unsuccessful because they were tipped off about the plan. The first successful flash mob was held on June 3, 2003, at Macy’s department store. This time Wasik avoided a tip off by sending the participants to staging areas where they received their final instructions. About 130 people made their way to the rug department of the Macy’s department store where they approached a sales assistant to enquire about a “love rug” for the group.

The following video is an example of a flash mob performing at the Central Station in Antwerp, Belgium.

Did you know?
While most flash mobs are legal and basically harmless, the flash mob phenomenon turned ugly in the city of Philadelphia where a wave of mob crimes took place in 2009 and 2010. Wasik was very critical of these incidents and was very surprised by the violence of these crimes.

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