UK Prime Minister Wants To Ban Suspected Rioters From Facebook & Twitter

from the oh-come-on dept

After initially blaming the Blackberry and suggesting that Blackberry's messaging service be shut down to try to quell the UK riots, it seems that UK politicians are trying to up the level of "bad ideas in reaction to riots" with Prime Minister David Cameron suggesting that those who are suspected of rioting be banned from social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
David Cameron has told parliament that in the wake of this week's riots the government is looking at banning people from using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook if they are thought to be plotting criminal activity.

The prime minister said the government will review whether it is possible to stop suspected rioters spreading online messages, in his opening statement during a Commons debate on Thursday on the widespread civil disorder for which MPs were recalled from their summer recess.
I'm at a loss to see how anyone believes that cutting off communication for people who feel disenfranchised will suddenly make them less interested in rioting. There's this rush by people in charge to think that "if only we could stop them from spreading messages, that will calm them down." That seems likely to be a giant miscalculation. It's not hard to get around any such ban, and instituting such a ban is just likely to piss off the very people they're trying to calm down.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    jakerome (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

    Wrong way

    Instead of exporting democracy to totalitarian regimes in the Middle East & elsewhere, western politicians seem intent on importing freedom-restricting "innovations" like censorship from these dictatorships.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Planespotter (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    I think he'll find the answer to "is it possible?" is a deafening NO! Followed by "... you idiot".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    If only

    Gotta say, I only riot on days when the internet & phones are down and the police are out in force...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    yeah, good luck with that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    TCBloo (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Looks like the UK government is tying its own noose.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Soon they'll ban the internet and the world will be smiles and flowers.

    As this riot has shown us, the best speech is no speech.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    SUSPECTED rioters?

    So this is based on suspicion. Not proof or due process of any kind?

    Next they'll say that being on either Facebook or Twitter is suspicious activity, thus making you suspect.

    Hence, just ban everyone from both Facebook and Twitter.
    Then they'll all flock to Google+.
    Then they'll ban that.
    Then they'll all flock to something else.
    The problem is, soon, they'll invent something that is a lot harder to ban.

    Yes, the government really is that stupid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 4:14pm

      Re: SUSPECTED rioters?

      Not only that, but if you suspect they're plotting, wouldn't you want to keep track of them? How is kicking them off of the obvious services going to help?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:40pm

    The police state uses everything to justify more police state.

    This has transmogrified from an apparent execution by police during a "pre-planned arrest" after tailing a fellow for some time, into calls for removing not only communication but all social benefits. It's perfect opportunity for fascists to play up the "undesirables are a threat, we must segregate them into ghettos" though I think this one is unexpected.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

    yeah, disenfranchised

    Those poor disenfranchised cowards running around with their $200 iphones to record their destruction of the property of those who actually work for a living. Have these poor disenfranchised rioters checked their mailboxes for their welfare checks?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:47pm

      Re: yeah, disenfranchised

      ...squealed the Anonymous Coward, who was only posting his thoughts on a social blog because his access to communication hasn't be squelched by a large government organization.

      He sat back in his chair, feeling smug in his hypocrisy, a small, weasely smile crossed his face.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

        Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

        Yeah I am sitting at my desk right now quite comfortably and thus I am too busy working to be out stealing things from shops, homes, and strangers on the street. If a tool was used in an act of crime it should be taken away from those individuals. Those rioters are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly. Unfortunately the good citizens of England are without the right to bear arms to defend themselves and their belongings. Nothing is owed to those rioters. They know nothing of morality, hard work, and sacrifice. They are the results of liberalism on full display. A generation of malcontents who have a twisted sense of entitlement.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

          You're a rioter.

          I know this because I looked on your Facebook and one of your friends and/or friends of friends was spotted by law enforcement at the scene of a riot. You are now banned from Twitter and Facebook. Your connection from any port outside of port 80 will be blocked, and any traffic over port 80 will be heavily monitored. If any messages over port 80 is unable to be decoded and read, we will be authorized to hold you in detention until otherwise instructed.

          We're just trying to take potential tools away from terroris-I mean rioters. Good citizens aren't rioters, they stay at home quite comfortably and thus are too busy working to be out stealing things from shops, homes, and strangers on the street. If a tool was used in an act of crime it should be taken away from those individuals. Those rioters are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly.

          Seeing the problem yet?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

            No, I don't see the problem. Your boogey man worst case scenario of guilt by association in facebook is ridiculous.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

              Until the day you find out that the coppers bugged your phone and house, then you will not find that so funny.

              Remember that Brazilian dude killed at the tube?
              They were following him and he didn't even knew about it.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 4:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

              "No, I don't see the problem."

              Then you truly are a shortsighted simpleton.

              Why do we even need elections if morons like you would be perfectly willing to just hand it all over to the first despot that is willing to paint enough people as "The Bad Guy" to keep you fat and distracted?

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

          Oddity:
          Riots in Libya and Syria are "'the people' demanding democratic regime change" and they "deserve our support" but rioters in the UK are "crooks engaged in mindless violence" and the "deserve the 'full force' of the law."

          Strange strange world we live in.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

            The governments of Libya and Syria are brutal dictatorships and the government of Great Britain is a free (minus liberal policies) democracy. That's the difference. However it is far from clear that "the people" demanding changes in those countries are any better than what is already there. Case in point: Egypt.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

              Ask the Irish what they think of the Queen LoL

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              abc gum, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:29pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

              "Great Britain is a free (minus liberal policies) democracy."

              Possibly, democracy does not mean what you think it means.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            JMT (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

            There's a huge difference between peacefully protesting and rioting. Protesting for regime change is a good thing, rioting for that change (or any other reason) rarely ends well. It's almost always the lives and properly of the innocent that are threatened or destroyed.

            Personally I have a similar opinion of the rioters an Libya and Syria as I do of the rioters in the UK.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            indieThing (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 3:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

            There is a big difference here Lobo, in Libya it's pretty much civil war, in Syria it's been peaceful demonstrations by the populace, with the police shooting peaceful protesters.

            Here in London, most of the rioting was greed motivated, gangs and other eejits took full advantage of the police being slow off the mark, to smash and rob stores of valuable goods like tvs,watches,jewelry,phones,trainers. Some small shops were even robbed at knifepoint or threat of being beat up.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Richard (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

          Yeah I am sitting at my desk right now quite comfortably and thus I am too busy working to be out stealing things from shops, homes,

          But not too busy to write inane comments and check if anyone has replied every 10 minutes!

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

            I am not out stealing things that don't belong to me or destroying public and private property.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 4:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

              Did you do anything when people got murdered by the police on the streets of London?

              Are you the guy that do something when people get bullied by law enforcement?

              If no, why are you complaining when people get really mad about it and show it?

              Did you really think that once a riot started opportunists wouldn't be part of it?

              In every riot people loot and destroy things.
              There is not one case of a riot not involving loot and destruction of property.

              Besides a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.
              It is a measure by which people can understand how good a government is or is not, how policies need to change or not, it is a way for the commons to vent and have their grievances heard and not just dismissed as something inconsequential, it forces governments to take people seriously.

              Quote:
              Shays' Rebellion — a sometimes-violent uprising of farmers angry over conditions in Massachusetts in 1786 — prompted Thomas Jefferson to express the view that "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing" for America. Unlike other leaders of The Republic, Jefferson felt that the people had a right to express their grievances against the government, even if those grievances might take the form of violent action.

              Source: Thomas Jefferson

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                icon
                indieThing (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 3:23am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

                Being almost in the heart of some of the riots, I can assure you Nicedoggy, that most of the rioters were opportunists. you can see this by the some of the texts and other messages that have come to light, plus the specific targeting of shops with valuable goods, all others were pretty much left alone.

                I agree, our political system is 'stuck' pretty much like the USA, we need a new political system, not just a new bunch of MPs. We do need something to help young people just starting out in life, it doesn't help that university fees are about to rise 3 fold, and there isn't much help for people wanting to start a small business from scratch.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  ThatAVGuy (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 7:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

                  Also being pretty much in the heart of some of the riots....
                  There were loads of opportunists...but they all came from very similar areas. There is a reason these riots didn't break out across the country starting in rich neighbourhoods.

                  Of course, if you follow the media and majority of the MP's in the house of commons yesterday, you wouldn't spend much time thinking about that, its all just thugs and thievery right....

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  ThatAVGuy (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 7:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

                  Also being pretty much in the heart of some of the riots....
                  There were loads of opportunists...but they all came from very similar areas. There is a reason these riots didn't break out across the country starting in rich neighbourhoods.

                  Of course, if you follow the media and majority of the MP's in the house of commons yesterday, you wouldn't spend much time thinking about that, its all just thugs and thievery right....

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Richard (profile), Aug 13th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

          Yeah I am sitting at my desk right now quite comfortably and thus I am too busy working to be out stealing things from shops, homes, and strangers on the street.

          "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers..."

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:52pm

        Re: Re: yeah, disenfranchised

        Sounds like something DH would write...

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      DannyB (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 7:00am

      Re: yeah, disenfranchised

      > Those poor disenfranchised cowards running around
      > with their $200 iphones to record their destruction
      > of the property of those who actually work for a living.

      As a freedom loving American I can assure you that those disenfranchised cowards are going to be very disappointed once they discover that those tv's they looted only run on 220 volts.



      > Have these poor disenfranchised rioters checked
      > their mailboxes for their welfare checks?

      Can't they get direct deposit and use their $200 iphones to check that the deposit happened?



      Hey, this trolling thing is fun. Thanks for showing me how to do it!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jeff, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    Go for it

    We're getting closer and closer to November 5th. I wonder if the rioters remember?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    anonymous disenfranchised Dutch coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

    jail?

    or you could throw the scum in jail.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:06pm

      Re: jail?

      Yeah, and it's real easy to throw them in jail when you claim that everyone is a potential criminal based solely on suspicion.

      When you make a world of criminals, the world is your jail.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    bjupton, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    he's clearly right

    no one ever rioted before social media or communications devices.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Blatant Coward (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:28pm

      Re: he's clearly right

      Absolutely, look at Buckland 1857, Watts 1965, Toronto 1918, Harlem 1948, Ruimveldt 1905, Detroit 1966, & Providence 1824.

      Shutting down twitter and facebook would have solved these issues Johnny on the Spot!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      jr, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:29pm

      Re: he's clearly right

      The world is the same; but social networks and news are faster to disseminate info. So, is the world worst now or news and social media are faster than before?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    BeachBumCowboy (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:03pm

    Calm them down

    "and instituting such a ban is just likely to piss off the very people they're trying to calm down."

    The UK lawmakers and government doesn't see a need to calm them down, only to end the riots by defeating them in battle. They are not part of the "us" that the policy makers view themselves as. The rioters are a "them" to be defeated with battlefield tactics. There is no effort to "win the hearts and minds" of the rioters nor to bring them into the circle of "us".

    If "they" become part of "us" then "we" become like "them", and that just will not do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Chosen Reject (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:51pm

      Re: Calm them down

      I was thinking somewhat on the same lines. Cutting off lines of communication is exactly what you do in battle. So it's obvious that the UK government views the rioters as an enemy, rather than upset citizens. Once you realize how the government views its people, then understanding why they think using war-like tactics is a good idea.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        btr1701 (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

        Re: Re: Calm them down

        > the UK government views the rioters as an
        > enemy, rather than upset citizens

        They're not 'upset citizens'. They're a bunch thuggish assholes who took advantage of some perceived wrong to go on a week-long binge of destruction and violence.

        'Upset citizens' don't beat teenagers with baseball bats just to take their iPods or make old ladies strip naked under threat of violence just for the sheer fun of humiliating them.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Any Mouse (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: Calm them down

          The 'perceived wrongs' were culminated in the gunning down of a young man in the back seat of a cab. The gun they found on him, and he did have one, was IN A SOCK. This was a slaying, pure and simple. It was the spark that set off a portion of the population that has been marginalized and forgotten, save to keep cutting any help they might possibly have had. With all the money flowing upwards, those at the bottom are being told they need to 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps.' The economy does not support this.

          But no, they aren't 'upset citizens.' They're ALL responsible for the violent acts of just a few. Which means you're responsible, too. Because you did nothing to stop them.

          Read the reports, talk to the people, understand the issues. THEN come back and comment.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            btr1701 (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Calm them down

            > Which means you're responsible, too. Because you
            > did nothing to stop them.

            I'm in frakking California, genius. Stopping them from Santa Monica isn't exactly an option.

            And even if I was there, I wouldn't have the legal ability to stop them. Britain has disarmed its citizens and left them helpless at the hands of these barbaric animal. I wouldn't be responsible for not stopping their psychotic orgy of violence, because I wouldn't have the ability to do it. If the entire police force couldn't, why do you think I could? Or in situations like that, am I supposed to just sacrifice myself on the altar of your god of social justice?

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Any Mouse (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 12:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Calm them down

              Then stop blaming everyone for the actions of a few. You seem to have missed that entire point in your righteous indignation.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                icon
                btr1701 (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 8:09am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Calm them down

                > Then stop blaming everyone for the actions of a few.

                Quote back to me anything I've said which 'blames everyone'.

                I quite clearly blamed the thugs for being thugs. No one else.

                A 70-year-old man died this morning after having been beaten for no other reason than he was out trying to extinguish the fire that was threatening his home-- a fire started, of course, by your precious 'upset citizens'.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  Any Mouse (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 2:14pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Calm them down

                  'They're not 'upset citizens'. They're a bunch thuggish assholes who took advantage of some perceived wrong to go on a week-long binge of destruction and violence.'

                  This implies that everyone that was rioting is a 'thuggish asshole.' Be more clear if you don't want mistakes.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      LD, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:47pm

      Re: Calm them down

      Yes, the public mood is often based on a them and us mentality, and with recent UK street protests - be they anti-war, anti-cuts, anti-student-fees, anti-capitalist or environmental - the public has been quick to call "police brutality", sometimes even when the police had little choice but to use force. The public saw the police as "them".

      That's why, this time, the police treated the riots as a public order problem rather than a crimewave, thought a light touch would avoid inflaming the situation, and were attempting to "win hearts and minds" with a less aggressive approach. Since hitting rioters with a big stick had previously proved unpopular with the public, they tried just collecting evidence instead.

      The public response was "the police did nothing", "where were the police" or even "send in the army". This time, to the public, the rioters were the "them". Only once the police and government were sure of this were more officers and a more aggressive policing style deployed to successfully quell the riots in London, actually increasing community confidence in the police.

      Winning hearts and minds does not always mean treading softly.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Jay (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:59pm

      Re: Calm them down

      Isn't the police known for brutal tactics to rile up the crowds though?

      There's been countless times, the police will single out someone, harm them, then act as if they didn't do anything wrong.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    colony (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:06pm

    why doesn't the uk government

    just deal with the actual causes here in the uk (no jobs, low wages, fuel costs rising 3 times in a year, extortionate tax rates, politicians not listening, police violence, systematic corruption) instead of just effectively telling protesters to shut up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

      Re: why doesn't the uk government

      Politicians actually doing their jobs? That'll never happen.
      Why bother working? Just go along with whatever lobbyists say, and if a problem comes up, throw money/police/troops/political clout/whatever at it until it goes away. There's no need to actually understand issues or put in any effort to solve them.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

    Will they ban the pirate radios too?

    LoL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    DSchneider (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

    Why stop there.

    This is England we're talking about, it's time to get medieval. If they simply cut out their tongues and cut of their fingers, that would stop the communication as well, and then everyone will go back to being productive members of society again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    ASTROBOI, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 4:13pm

    Standard proceedure for UK.

    Go back many decades to the era of the Citizens Band Radio. While they were incredibly popular in the USA, Britain kept them forbidden. Some people obtained them somehow and used them illegally. The government made it clear that they didn't like the idea of a large group of people being able to easily communicate. Only when the UK became one of the few places one could not use a radio did they grudgingly permit them. Fast forward to the early computer era. Britain got computers alright. Some were actually sold by the BBC. But one thing Brits couldn't have was a modem. Possession was forbidden for most people and the few who could get licenses had to pay far more than their counterparts in the US. The modems were owned by British Telephone and rented. Purchase was not allowed.

    The UK has always been a control freak country. Check how many movies were banned or cut until they made no sense. Many respectable titles are only now being seen in the UK on DVD decades after they were produced. Yes, it's a lot better in the USA but not because our wonderful masters think freedom is a good idea. America is just not as good at micro-managing the population. I hope they never learn either.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 4:33pm

    Workaround

    "Nigel? Yeah, this is Charles. They've banned me from Facebook and Twitter, so I'll just email you my tweets and you can copy/paste them onto Twitter for me, okay?"

    "Righty-o. Pip, pip and all that."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Meee, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    "I'm at a loss to see how anyone believes that cutting off communication for people who feel disenfranchised will suddenly make them less interested in rioting. There's this rush by people in charge to think that "if only we could stop them from spreading messages, that will calm them down." That seems likely to be a giant miscalculation."

    No, the idea is that without social networking, the riots couldn't be pre-planned and organised. There were reports (which I never bothered to follow up so I don't know if they're true or media scaremongering) of various riot groups planning attacks on various places in advance via various systems, and then meeting up there.

    Cameron's plan is apparently to cut that off so there wouldn't be any organisation going on. Because of course, before facebook, instant messaging and twitter, there were literally no riots or organised protests in the entire world.


    Basically this is just Cameron's policies (which can literally be described as "stop trying to help the poor") blowing up in his face and him taking the opportunity to blame anything and everything else. The rioters weren't in any sense "political", they were "purely criminal", the police responses weren't due to his massive funding cuts for all police organisations in the UK, they were because the police "misunderstood the situation", the high levels of organisation weren't because his policies had affected the poor all across the country in exactly the same way leading to the same response, it's because "they're using social media to organise".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    RobM (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:46pm

    Seriously. Making US Pols look less stupid

    "Prime Minister David Cameron suggesting that those who are suspected of rioting be banned from social networks"

    Like that is gonna work.

    Aside from the Catholic Church, I can't think of another entity that has ruined more lives than Britain. From India, Ireland, Africa, and the Middle East, all the other bits. Albeit they did draw the line in 1940.
    Hey, even a blind squirrel...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:54pm

    Locking the door in a house without walls.

    I just remembered something, banishing those people from using social networks is not even possible.

    Can those people not use Retroshare? It is anonymous and encrypted
    TOR is available for cellphones too(see: Orbot).

    Pirate radios that the government has zero censor powers over are abundant and most of the same people rioting are the ones that listen to them.

    There are so many, many ways around those government measures that people have proved around the world like in China and Iran just to name a couple, that I don't see the usefulness of such tactics, it only enforces the view that the government is out to get people and hurt them and not make things better.

    The more you try to control the more out of control those things become, so why are the government not dealing with the real issues the issues that brought this crap to happen in the first place?

    Those people who had to live under fear of law enforcement being harassed and murdered don't deserve better?
    They don't deserve a voice is that it? they should just shut up and put up and take it like a man?

    Did anybody caught on the riots felt safe can those people imagine how it is like to feel that way year round because you can't even trust your own government?

    Do those in power really think that these things will go away if they smack people hard that already get smacked everyday by the same law enforcement? Could this not escalate and cement the determination of those people who apparently are not afraid anymore of being jailed and hurt by the law?

    They expect angry people that have already proven they don't care about the law right now that much, to just obey something that can be circumvented as easily as one can breath?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:58pm

    As a 20 something I really do side with the protesters, You've built a system that massively disenfranchises the young while at the same time forces them to deal with the debt of their parents generation. All the respectability and none of the tools because the tools are all in the hands of those who already have money.

    Something broke down a while back, people started living longer, we started pushing things off to future generations, and wealth kept getting into fewer and fewer hands.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      JMT (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:31pm

      Re:

      First, they're not "protesters", they're rioters. Big difference.

      Second, if you're going to side with them, you should clarify whether you are just sympathising with their societal problems, or actually condoning destruction of properly owned by people completely unrelated to those problems.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        freak (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 1:16am

        Re: Re:

        I like you.

        You're opposing sympathizing with the rioters for the right reasons.

        You're much better than the jackasses who think they're all looters and don't have any non-selfish reason to riot.


        Personally, I sympathize with the rioters, because there have been peaceful protects, there have been attempts from the population that is now rioting to change their society, because people do irrational things when they are angry, and the response from the gov't has . . . not been positive.

        I think the burden of responsibility now falls on the parties responsible for the current situation in Britain, which appears to be the 'upper class' and gov't.

        Whether the solution was to give in to demands, or find some other way to deal with the rioters before they became rioters, well, that's different in every situation. As far as I can tell, it appears here that giving into the implicit demands would actually have been better for everyone.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    ECA (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:06pm

    So...

    You are going to Ban anyone Under 25 from Facebook/tweeter...For being young and not having a job..

    NEXT you will ban anyone over 40, that Quit/fired and cant find a job??

    AND if a friend of yours gets beaten up...and you WANT to Bitch about it..And the GOV wont listen...You are banned?
    Get the list out of Every person who SAW you beat up the kid/person/friend..(??)

    Monitor the web sites for ANY complaints/bitching...AND BAN THE SUCKER(??) who cares if they are 16 or 92 yo grand mother, bitching about her SON getting BASHED in the head by an SM LOVING Police..

    Then BASH those that follow the original poster, that POST the BANNING and start complaining, and spreading MORE discontent..

    Might as will BAN the site..totally..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    md1500 (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:18pm

    “The more there are riots, the more repressive action will take place, and the more we face the danger of a right-wing takeover and eventually a fascist society.”

    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:27pm

    Morale improvement

    "The beatings will continue until morale improves..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    BeeAitch (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:43pm

    This will definitely help.

    *Cues up The Clash, The Guns of Brixton*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:45pm

    Human Failing # I forget.

    We have always done things this way, and that is the only possible right way. We can not possibly consider any other way to do things because they must be wrong.

    Yes SOME people rioted. Some people peacefully protested.

    Yes SOME people looted. Other people used this chance to blame the others while they stole.

    I had hoped that cooler minds would prevail, and I would like to point out to anyone playing the home game, after they crush those worthless people underfoot.
    Force them into their extra secure areas... they will then have time to look at you who are smugly 1 rung up the ladder.
    If you weren't paying attention... your now on the bottom rung.
    Enjoy having your rights chipped away until your in the secure zone.
    Eye people who looked down on you from the rung above yours... feel sad they still don't get they are next.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      btr1701 (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:57pm

      Re:

      > Enjoy having your rights chipped away until your in the secure zone.

      Exactly what rights are being chipped away from those mobs?

      The right to loot, assault, terrorize and humiliate people without repercussion?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Any Mouse (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 12:27am

        Re: Re:

        Dig deeper. Find out WHY they are rioting. That is, if you've got the chutzpah to see things from the other side.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          btr1701 (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 8:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          > Find out WHY they are rioting.

          I couldn't care less. No reason justifies lighting the home of an elderly man on fire and then beating him to death when he tries to put it out.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 3:01am

        Re: Re:

        Let us start with just walking down the street they have the right to stop and search you. No suspicion needed.

        Let us follow up that when they shoot a family member they will ignore your requests for any information. They will promise the right person will be right out to speak with you, and then they leave you standing there for hours.

        Then add the Government wants to shut down communication networks for EVERYONE to "try" and stop a few bad actors.

        Then let us discuss the austerity measures cutting deeply into society, because you underlings need to get less so we can pay to save the bankers who fxcked the country.

        Let us discuss that peaceful protests are met with kettling, and ignoring people actively destroying property so they can scoop up the ringleaders who dared to plan a peaceful protest in the first place.

        Thats just off the top of my head, and I'm not even British.

        Everyone wants to look at the riots and looting and see them as a single thing. You want to think they are all do nothing layabouts who are just taking what they want. Well what little they did have, was taken away... and taken away... and taken away... and then they took away treating you like a human.
        Pushed to far, how would you like them to express the rage they feel?
        Strongly worded blog posts?
        Oh they can have a protest march, and be kettled for hours, beaten by police and denied access to medical care.

        "The right to loot, assault, terrorize and humiliate people without repercussion?"
        That is what the Government has been doing to these people for years, they showed them how it was done.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          btr1701 (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 8:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          > That is what the Government has been doing to these people
          > for years, they showed them how it was done.

          Interesting. So when the government cuts back on your welfare check, you get to run amuck, set people's homes on fire, then beat them to death for attempting to defend themselves and/or put it out.

          That's quite a system of moral values you've got going there.

          Here's a hint: if you want to violently protest the actions of the government, then fight the government, not whatever random citizen you come across.

          Forcing an 80-year-old women to strip naked at bat-point just for the sheer fun of humiliating her doesn't make you a righteous patriot. It makes you a psychotic animal.

          Beating a 14-year-old boy bloody just so you can root around in his backup for his iPod and his wallet doesn't make you a champion of the poor. It makes you a barbaric thug.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            freak (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 8:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I agree, giving 14 year olds searches every day when they come home from school is humiliating and unjust.

            But let's get back to talking about the riots instead of the police, alright?

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              freak (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 9:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              (In reality, I'm still (trying to be) on the fence about who I'm siding with. I despise non-peaceful protest, or whatever this rioting is, at least, but which party should I be blaming for this violence?)

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    fb39ca4, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:55pm

    Those politicians are...

    F(X)(X)LS.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    mike allen (profile), Aug 12th, 2011 @ 12:47am

    I can understand why some people are doing this rioting. I do NOT condone it but i can understand.
    If the young want to get a good education they now end up with £60,000 debt.
    People who have a terminal illness having been told you may not lie more than 6 months are told to report to a job centre 3 or 4 times a week to find a job as well as hospital visits for radio therapy or kemo.
    meanwhile people in wheelchairs being told to apply for jobs like planting trees on motorway embankments.
    that is the society the British government are creating.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    How about we send the rioting kids to bed with warm milk and cookies, and a promise to give them a new baseball to work with tomorrow?

    It seems that you would prefer the government to coddle the children and encourage their outbursts, rather than take action. Taking away social media (or computer network access altogether) from these people might actually get their attention. It's one of the few things in life they appear to prize.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    lindadsouza, Aug 13th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Facebook, Blackberry to be banned in UK ? http://bit.ly/pVtuU8

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This