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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 Aug 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.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.