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.

Filed Under: david cameron, free speech, london, pre-crime, riots, social networks, uk
Companies: facebook, rim, twitter


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  1. icon
    freak (profile), 12 Aug 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.

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