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back to article UK.gov slams Facebook over Moat fan clubs

Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday that he would make an official complaint to Facebook because it is hosting discussions and support groups for Raoul Moat. But he might start a little nearer to home. The two sites supposedly set up to support Treasury spending cuts and to crowd-source laws which need repealing are both …

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Big Brother

Godwin

This wouldn't have happened under the Nazis. They'd have pulled the Facebook group at once with no back talk.

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Free speech can sometimes be distasteful

Hello "Call me Dave" Facebook is an American site, hosted in the states. They have an unusual concept to the English ruling classes of protected freedom of speech.

Dave may not like it, but unless it is promoting hate crimes or inciting criminal action, there is very little, if anything that he can do about it.

A case of a politician blowing wind to try engaging the tabloid press reading classes. Unfortunately after too many years of listening to the last lot, I think the general public now have a very strong BS filter installed

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FAIL

but unless it is promoting hate crimes or inciting criminal action

sSo it's not free speech then

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Anonymous Coward

As for freedom of speach...

One could argue that Cameron also has the right to complain "as in free speech" about the sick moronic retards writing that crap and the people who are providing the services to do it.

Personally I believe that peace of shit should have been given one chance to drop the shotgun and give himself up. When he didn't; they should have just put him down like you would a rabid dog.

He was always a peace of shit, and the world is better place without him.

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Interesting POV there, AC...

May life never cause *you* to suffer a mental illness and hurt people you care about.

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Pirate

I have...

...and it wasn't pleasant.

Somehow though I manage to not go on the run, procure high-velocity weapons and lie in a field with the gun to my head. I don't murder people either.

He was a murderer. A twisted SOB. The people who are shouting for him either just want to be anti-police, or are just trolls. Ignore them.

I also wonder whether or not this idiot WAS worthy of a Darwin Award. He clearly managed to get himself into stupid circumstances, he was given every chance to surrender, and in the end he got deaded by the fact he put a gun to his head. I suppose that completely depends on whether the electricity got him or his own fear. I wouldn't be surprised if it was his own fear - after all, he knew what the police would do to a cop-killer.

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Anonymous Coward

Thomas NO

I have suffered from a mental illness and I know other who have to, I have hurt the people I care about. However I have never gone on a calculated planned shooting spree. You could argue everyone who does something nasty because they are mentally ill. However If I ever murdered people due to mental illness I would not expect sympathy. If I believed in an after life I would feel dirty if people chose to put up a tribute page for me after I was had murdered people and my self.

Also if his apparent mental illness was an issue that cause him to murder people I do not think putting up a page saying he is a legend after he murdering someone and hurt others helps a cause for people with mental illness. He may have been mentally ill but he was also A low life piece of scum and does not deserve the attention he is getting.

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Stop

Thomas NO!

I have suffered from a mental illness and I know other who have to, I have hurt the people I care about. However I have never gone on a calculated planned shooting spree. You could argue everyone who does something nasty because they are mentally ill. However If I ever murdered people due to mental illness I would not expect sympathy. If I believed in an after life I would feel dirty if people chose to put up a tribute page for me after I was had murdered people and my self.

Also if his apparent mental illness was an issue that cause him to murder people I do not think putting up a page saying he is a legend after he murdering someone and hurt others helps a cause for people with mental illness. He may have been mentally ill but he was also A low life piece of scum and does not deserve the attention he is getting.

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Woah there...

I made my point a little clumsily. I feel sorry for the stress he was under and for the fact he snapped but I sure as hell don't endorse bunging the guy on a pedastal, or laud him as some sort of hero for killing cops.

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Unhappy

Full stop, end of story....

....except for the bit where the poor sod was quite obviously mentally ill. A situation we are rather bad at handling, it seems.

So, it is perfectly consistent to express sympathy for him, whilst at the same time condemning his actions when his mind finally unravelled fully. Tricky johnny, this compassion and understanding thing, isn't it?

GJC

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WTF?

Just

Just because someone is a nasty cunt doesn't make them mentally ill.

Look at Fred West.

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WTF?

If Moat had mental issues then so does most of the rest of the country; should those as afflicated as Moat now expect a postcard from the Queen praising them for not giving in to their base & selfish selves by gunning down their ex-partner and any potential suitor in range? Most people start out as selfish evil little shits, but realising the world doesn’t revolve around you (usually gained by the experience from some Moat Jr. that comes along and beats your shit in) tempers that and most people turn out to be okay.

Those that knew and miss the late Mr. Moat are entitled to their grief and to mourn his loss in private, but it takes Stalin-sized balls to publicly pretend that he was innocent, especially on the back of the tape released (wanting better for yourself without admitting prior responsibility does not add-up to redemption/remorse). And for those lining-up to join the Fecalboke group, thank you for forming an orderly black-list of grazing morons that I hope employers can put to good use.

Now I’m off to join the group the “How In Holy Hell Did the Police Fail (Yet Again) To Take Serious Complaints Against An Obviously Dangerous Individual?”

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catch all

This excuse could be rolled out to justify almost any crime.

All rapists are clearly mentaly ill, no one of sound mind would commit such an act. Same goes for murder.

But the big problem with these facebook groups or the messages seen, is the fact that they aren't about sympathy for this poor lost lamb, but glorification of Moat being a 'legend' and a 'hero'.

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There was a story out that...

...he was asking for help before all this started off. I've heard of many people with mental health problems asking for help, failing to get some as they were 'not a danger to anyone' and dying as a result (eg a friend of mine, who was an alcoholic, drank himself to death).

Perhaps if he had not slipped through the net, no one would have died.

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not quite

Yes, he had mental issues, so do I. However, the only person I've ever attempted to kill is myself.

If people are concerned about the state of the mental health service (which *is* pretty awful) then they should be writing to their MP, or supporting mental health charities or starting "we want better mental health" groups on facebook.

But they're not. Most of these people are glorifying the "kill the police" stance he had or the "macho" view. These people are simply cowards - it's easy to speak "hard" online.

He was a murderer and a coward (if you want to kill yourself you do it privately without affecting others) - nothing more. He was *NOT* a victim.

And, perhaps the better use of the facebook groups would be to investigate everyone who posts something anti-police? Having free speech comes with a responsibility - the responsibility to accept the outcomes of what you say.

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Unhappy

No, indeed it doesn't

However, all of the rest of his actions - surrounding his house with CCTV cameras, wearing a wire tap when talking to social services and keeping all the tapes, writing long rambling letters with inconsistent themes and scattered narrative, delusions of persecution, detailed planning of some sort of grand plan - are all indicative of someone deep in either bipolar depression or, more likely, schizophrenia.

I have had more experience of this in others than I care to remember. From what I know of Moat (not, to be fair, a huge amount, just what I can read in the media), he was ill, not evil.

GJC

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@Wize

Aye, I know of far too many similar examples. As I say, as a society we're not that good at dealing with mental illness.

GJC

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d

We're really good at applying labels to character traits though aren't we?

I don't think you can deduce anything from anywhere to tell you the truth. Time will tell if he was a nutter (or mentally ill). Or not.

Given that manic depression is apparently a very trendy illness (instead of the debilitating illness that it is) I am sure all manner of illnesses will be posthumously declared.

There are a lot of very nasty people out there...they are not ill...just nasty. Extend your theories on his behaviour to religious zealots and call them mentally ill if you fancy it.

Bullshit.

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@PirateSlayer

I'm guessing you know little to nothing about schizophrenia. Go and do some reading.

GJC

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Big Brother

If you let anyone write anything

someone is going to write something you don't like. Pretty obvious really.

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Badgers

Nothing to see here, move along

You give the masses access to write anything they like and they will do so.

There have always been an insignificant minority of people who have weird views out of kilter with the majority, but we are now in an age where instead of ranting to one other person in a corner somewhere, they can band together into a slightly less insignificant minority and convince themselves they have some consensus.

Well clearly they do have a consensus, but only amongst themselves. I heard it was 3000 or so people supporting it. If that is true, then given that we have over 60 million in the country I won't be worrying about these comments, other than in an abstract sense, until there is more than a statistical blips worth of people commenting.

The gov need to wind their necks in though....

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Pint

Ghoul Tourists

The same people have been turning up to the site of the shooting to have their pictures taken on the spot where he died. Some people don't have minds of their own and need to cling on to any event to find validation for their pathetic empty lives, including writing mindless comments on some website about someone they never even knew.

Same shite with Diana, people laying flowers and professing grief, how many of those people never gave rat's arse until the poor cow was in her coffin?

Some people need to get real lives and not attach to the latest "craze".

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Anonymous Coward

@If you let anyone write anything

Kind of like the infinite monkeys thing. But I see no works of Shakespeare appearing.

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WTF?

Squatting or sat down?

OK just seen all the news about these horrid new toilets.

But yes a good place to go to the loo!

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Jobs Halo

The works of Shakespeare...

... appeared several centuries ago, in an former phase of the experiment. I seem to remember a balding guy with funny clothes, whose name was Will or Bill, or something like that. Monkeys where in short supply back then, and typewriters hadn't been invented yet.

On a side note, for those of you interested in knowing the number of sociopaths in the UK, the number of this guy's fans gives a good lower limit.

I put St.Steve's photo here so those stressed by this motherfucker Mr. Moat's death can regain their peace of mind by meditating and contemplating His iSaintness in all His Serene iGlory.

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The coalition the international board of censors

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Who made this coalition the arbiters of international free speech?

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Anonymous Coward

Silence those heretics!

I provisionally agree with Cameron, at least until I discover wtf is going on here. However, a formal complaint to Facebook? For crying out bloody loud. If you attempt to silence things you don't like, you only empower their cause - especially if you're the government. If the pro-Moat camp has no merit we'll all know soon enough. Government stay the fuck out of it.

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Big Brother

So whats the problem???

Now the gubment has a list of all the sickos that are partial to a bit of mass murder. They should be thanking Facebook.

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Grenade

I'm not a facebook fan ....

... as Ms Bee knows, but in this case I hope Zuckerberg tell Cameron to swivel ...

Does Cameron realise what an arse he sounds like ...

"I don't like it so make it go away"

we need some more icons ..... or maybe the ability to have multiple icons ....

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Megaphone

It's called Free Speech

Get over it Cameron. You don't like it. I may not like it. But it's a rare and precious thing called Free Speech, and your official complaint could be seen as nothing but an attempt at censorship.

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Is it?

Then, why the said page saying that the hate messages posted to the tribute page will be removed?

I wonder if any of those supporters would be this "understanding" if he maimed / murdered one of their loved ones?

He did the right thing and checked out of this life before hurting more.

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Stop

Freedom of speech anyone?

or is that a Vile attack on Our Britain™ or whatever the tabloids are printing recently

the guy was a lunatic and frankly deserved to die, people disagree with me but thats their right to do so surely?

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I disagree

He wasn't a callous murderer. He was a 'roid head who decided to suicide by cop.

End of.

The taser was a very restrained response by the police, it should have been a large calibre rifle bullet from outside the effective range of a shotgun.

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Big Brother

Well,

Whilst the people supporting Moat are patently cretinous idiots, they're not breaking any laws. Touch of the Streisands here methinks.

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Anonymous Coward

yeah

How could you feel bad for yet another mentally ill person losing their mind and killing people after being ignored by the state.

Our prisons are full of mentally ill people, and it doesn't take much for a somewhat ill person to become very dangerous and ill.

He seems to have defenetly been paranoid (and not the joking kind of paranoid we talk about in day to day life.)

It would be interesting to find out if there was any sign of dillusion.

His actions may be unsupportable, however it's quite easy for me to feel that it could all have worked out very differently had the man been given correct support, the question is how long until people figure out mental health and social care are far more important then imprisonment.

Our prisons are full of people who have border line disorders (and a good many who have acute problems), any one of which may become the next "Raoul Moat" many wont try as hard as he did to get help and will likely be far less easy to prevent.

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N

I think he thought he was a bit of an unstoppable commando personally.

Death by cop would have been very easy...point gun at copper...bang...end of issue.

But he didn't want to die like that. I think he was just a cocksucker who genuinely wanted to kill as many coppers as he could before he died...with impunity mind (the odds changed when he was surrounded by gun toting coppers instead of a poor bastard in a car with a stick and an unarmed man and a woman).

Glad he's dead.

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Freedom of speech?

I know we never truly had it, but now it seems acceptable to snuff it out for good.

From now on, do the gov have to agree with every facebook update?

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Stop

Clearly the guy was mentally unstable

and his girlfriend DID run off with the policeman who got him locked up in the first place... so there's a bit of sympathy due. I mean no-one would like it if that happened to them. Not enough to start shooting, but pretty pissed.

Actually, if you had serious issues already this could pretty easily push you towards shooting people.

It's not like he woke up one morning and started shooting every person he saw. Pretty sure he didn't shoot kids, the elderly or disabled people- just people who he considered to have wronged him and the police (who as a group he thought had wronged him)

Anyway, Facebook should keep the pages up. They've given a good reply to Cameron- "Facebook is a place where people can express their views and discuss things in an open way as they can and do in many other places. And as such we sometimes find people discussing topics others may find distasteful, however, that is not a reason in itself to stop a debate from happening. We believe that enabling people to have these different opinions and debate about a topic can help bring together lots of different views for a healthy discussion."

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No he didn't.

The new boyfriend was a Karate instructor/bouncer, not a policeman.

Admittedly, moving in with a gangster's bitch while he's inside, is asking for trouble. They hardly needed a warning from the police to know they were in danger.

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ah yes

the Doug and Dinsdale Piranha defence - nice

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Excuses

"and his girlfriend DID run off with the policeman who got him locked up in the first place"

So what?

"... so there's a bit of sympathy due."

Don't be ridiculous, of course there isn't. If everyone who'd ever been hurt by a loved one or mistreated by The System took it as reason to go out killing, there'd be no-one left standing.

"Actually, if you had serious issues already this could pretty easily push you towards shooting people."

If you'd said "he had mental health issues", then I could've gone with the idea that some sympathy was due. Not enough to think society isn't safer without him, but some, at least. But no: you're trying to suggest that being upset because of an old relationship somehow excuses murder and attempted murder. It doesn't. It never will.

"It's not like he woke up one morning and started shooting every person he saw. Pretty sure he didn't shoot kids, the elderly or disabled people"

That's ridiculous as well. That's no more than the weirdly discriminatory reasoning that drives every instance of "think of the children": the notion that adult lives are somehow intrinsically less valuable than those of children. That he didn't go out shooting kids doesn't make the shooting he did do suddenly okay.

"just people who he considered to have wronged him and the police (who as a group he thought had wronged him)"

Loads of people have wronged me. Could I count on your support if I decided to deal with it in the same deluded and/or cowardly manner?

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Its a symptom Dave!

The only reason I can see for the support for the cop killing Moat is what labour turned the police into.

Section 5 of the public disorder act (contempt of cop) mean you can be arrested for swearing within ear shot of a cop.

Section 44 searches on innocent people. (more contempt of cop)

and the crusade against motorists and bikers.

and of course labour targets upon labour targets. Meaning the police didn't give a shit about "serve and protect" and only cared about meeting arbitrary targets so Tony and Gord could have their statistics.

So of course there is a wave of support for a cop killing psycho, because of how hated the police have now become!

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Cops

dave 81 said: "...the cop killing Moat ... contempt of cop ... ear shot of a cop ... more contempt of cop ... a cop killing psycho ..."

And I've even heard younger police officers referring to themselves as 'cops'. Welcome to Britain, the fifty-first state.

Yes, I know: I'm being pedantic. One term's just the same as another, right? Except that it's not, because the words are accompanied by beliefs and expectations (as also shown by your use of the term "serve and protect").

Incidentally, Section 5 of the Public Order Act (there is no Public Disorder Act as far as I know, although it would have been a more sensible name) is intended to deal with behaviour in public which is likely to cause offence or distress. It's nothing to do with 'contempt of cop'; although if you are being mouthy and abusive in the street you could easily fall foul.

As far as the 'crusade against motorists and bikers" goes, I'm a motorist, and can't help but fail to notice this crusade of yours. If there was one, some of it might be directed towards the motorists who speed up and down this road each day with a total disregard for public safety; or the boy racers riding around at night in their chavved-up Vauxhall Novas with exhausts designed to produce the maximum possible volume of flatulence; or the bikers who treat windy country lanes like their own personal Manx TT, without any concern whatsoever for the lives of other road users. Or the fleet of 4x4s that turn up twice a day and almost completely clog half a mile of road outside the local school so the Little Darlings don't have to walk a centimetre more than they absolutely have to. Or even the idiots on the motorway who seem to think 70mph is a friendly suggestion. Or don't bother paying their road tax. Or...

Well, it'd just be nice to see some evidence of this supposed 'crusade' from time to time. Did you get a speeding ticket, by any chance?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Cops

>Welcome to Britain, the fifty-first state.

Oh honestly, what difference does it make? There's a fair bit of cross-pollination that goes on between US and British English. You don't have to wring your hands about the sociological implications. Unless you want to, that is, but I can't see why anyone would...

*remembers where she is*

Oh right.

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"because it is hosting discussions and support groups for Raoul Moat."

So what?

Last I recall people in Britain had the freedom to express their views. whoops guess not.

I have no sympathy for Moat. I think he was a cunt, and I think the media and the public paid him entirely too much attention. There should not have been live footage at all, of any of it. Live footage of the outside of a house or some coppers in a field does nothing to inform and everything to glamorize. Shame on the media and on those who consumed it and asked for seconds.

That's my opinion, and if you've got the idea that he was a cop killing hero who's only mistake was not killing enough children then you're welcome to post that as far as I'm concerned. Only the intellectually weak are afraid of ideas.

Covering up an idea does NOTHING to protect people from that idea. All it does is put people at risk from those who hold the idea but have been silenced. You don't know he's a cop killer because you wouldn't let him say so.

The trend towards censorship as the answer to all of society's ills is appalling and disgusting and completely abhorrent. More so in my opinion than a serial killer. And yes I am allowed to say that on the internet. For now.

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Anonymous Coward

actually

in light of the fact that he asked for psychiatric help but did not receive it, a fact that I was not previously aware of, I have changed my mind and decided that he may be due some sympathy after all.

And that change of opinion seems to be exactly what the government wants to avoid.

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offered

As I understand it, he was offered help, but he didn't take it up. Unfortunately, I can't locate my source, nor verify it's legitimacy.

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Murder?

Seems ol' Moaty was a bit potty to me. clearly paranoid and desparate for professional help. I am no supporter of Moat but you can't just come out with *he was a murderer so you can't feel sorry for him now he is dead" line if there is an underlying mental health problem that could have been addressed.

Cameron would be better to wait for the results of any inquiry before saying anything.

There always some people who love anarchy and would support anyone who went on a kill frenzy, but you can't just throw away the worth of someone's life because they went a bit mental at the end.

Still, web 2.0 gives power to the people, and cameron doesn't like it. Facebook may be upholding the 2.0 ideal but they aren't doing it for the good of the people either. Two forces, each of which wants to win no matter how it affects the general public.

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Hate to say it, but

I'm with Zuckerberg on this one. Some people are unpleasant, some in the extreme, but you can't go around silencing differing opinions, especially where those groups might be seen as critical of policing and government.

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Freedom of Speech

Hi Dave,

in case you were unaware, it's called Freedom of Speech, and instead of trying to ban it, you should be explaining that it is a freedom that this government fully supports even though some people may be 'offended'.

Any body who doesn't like it is perfectly free to set their own 'I hate Raoul Moat' facebook page.

t a message to those who are 'offended' ... FOAD

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