Image: (Wikipedia): “Hobart, capital of Australia’s island state of Tasmania, sits on the River Derwent.”
“A flash mob (or flashmob) is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform for a brief time, then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression. Flash mobs may be organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails.
The term, coined in 2003, is generally not applied to events and performances organized for the purposes of politics (such as protests), commercial advertisement, publicity stunts that involve public relation firms, or paid professionals. In these cases of a planned purpose for the social activity in question, the term smart mobs is often applied instead.
Bill Wasik, senior editor of Harper’s Magazine, claimed that he created flash mobs as a social experiment designed to poke fun at hipsters and to highlight the cultural atmosphere of conformity and of wanting to be an insider or part of “the next big thing”.
In 19th-century Tasmania, the term flash mob was used to describe a subculture consisting of female prisoners, based on the term flash language for the jargon that these women used. The 19th-century Australian term flash mob referred to a segment of society, not an event, and showed no other similarities to the modern term flash mob or the events it describes.
The British Transport Police have urged flash mob organizers to “refrain from holding such events at railway stations”.”