One of the main characteristics of an open and free society is the right to peaceably assemble and petition a government for change and reform. This sort of communication can create useful remedies for ambiguous social issues, or it can turn into an angry group that wants to control by mass or mob opinion.
There are many examples of mobocracy in the history of almost all nations. Governments that claim to be democratic are to a point, but there is an element of power associated with all governments, and it can act as a catalyst for mobocracy. A good example is the French Revolution. Political leaders who sensed the ability to take over the existing government by mob rule succeeded in manipulating mobs in Paris.
Another good example is the Salem Witch Trials. A group of townspeople actually overpowered the logic of the law. Lynch mobs dominated local governments in the South during the 19th and part of the 20th century. Mob law was the law and it controlled what was acceptable in terms of ethnicity. Lapses in control when it comes to the necessities usually lead to some sort of mob power, and that power can collapse existing governments. Maybe that is what's happening now.
In 1986, the Philippines experienced the EDSA revolution, which was a people's power revolution to get rid of President Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the country as well as stole from it. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution in the former Czechoslovakia overthrew the communist government, and the military coup in the Soviet Union in 1991 dissolved that state thanks to a mob filled with defectors from the existing government.
Egypt is the first country to experience the results of a current day mobocracy. The governments of Libya, Syria, and Yemen are going through the same process, but no one is sure what the final outcome will be.
Even though police in these states limit mob activity, the will of the people will come to the surface through some sort of mobocracy. The people may not get all of their demands and the consequences could be more than they bargained for unless the government is able to proclaim victory in some way, or it is completely taken over and a new government is formed.
The thought of mob rule has always been a negative one, especially for existing governments, but the results from mobocracy are not always negative. It seems the 21st century will be the century where mobocratic actions open the door for radical changes both socially and religiously.