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
    indieThing (profile), 12 Aug 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.

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: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

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