back to article 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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


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

  2. SirTainleyBarking

    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

    1. Naughtyhorse

      but unless it is promoting hate crimes or inciting criminal action

      sSo it's not free speech then

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Thomas 4

        Interesting POV there, AC...

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

        1. Atonnis

          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.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.

        3. 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.

          1. Thomas 4

            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.

  3. Geoff Campbell

    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?


    1. PirateSlayer


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

      Look at Fred West.

      1. Geoff Campbell

        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.


    2. Anonymous Coward


      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?”

    3. Arclight

      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'.

    4. Wize

      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.

      1. Geoff Campbell


        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.


        1. PirateSlayer


          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.


          1. Geoff Campbell


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


    5. sparx104

      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.

  4. Thomas 18
    Big Brother

    If you let anyone write anything

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

    1. Anonymous Coward

      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....

      1. Anonymous Coward

        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".

        1. Anonymous Coward

          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!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @If you let anyone write anything

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

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        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.

  5. Anigel

    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?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  8. JimmyPage Silver badge

    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 ....

  9. Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      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.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    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?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  12. Wish You Were Here
    Big Brother


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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      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.

    2. PirateSlayer


      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.

  13. Craig 12

    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?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    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."

    1. Anonymous John

      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.

    2. Duncan Jeffery
      Thumb Down

      ah yes

      the Doug and Dinsdale Piranha defence - nice

    3. Aculeo


      "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?

  15. dave 81

    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!

    1. Aculeo


      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?

      1. Sarah Bee (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.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      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.

      1. fifi


        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.

  17. SuperTim


    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.

  18. Greg J Preece

    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.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    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

  20. Nigel Brown

    It may be tasteless....

    ...but it's freedom of speech old chap.

  21. Richard IV

    You really do have to wonder

    What the hell is the point of the mock outrage over this? It's nothing more than the permanently teenaged expressing their hormonal right to be offensive. And they're not even managing to be that offensive. I find it way more offensive that our glorious leader thinks that this is a productive use of his and his staff's time.

    1. John Sturdy

      You had me confused there...

      First you refer to the permanently teenaged being offensive... and I thought you were referring to a political leader. Then you refer to the leader!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    Instead of this knee-jerk reaction over 'public sympathy' he should be questioning what it is about our society, and in particular how the police are viewed, that makes some people feel as though Moat deserves sympathy. I'm certainly not condoning Moat's actions at all, but there is something rotten in the state if the public (no matter how small a percentage of them) feel as though a police killer is their latest anti-hero...

  23. alain williams Silver badge

    Don't shoot the messager

    Facebook is just the medium, if you remove the posts then people will just go elsewhere.

    It is highly dangerous that Cameron makes a complaint to Facebook just because he does not like the content, today Moat, tomorrow disagreement with his budget. All that he has achieved is to publicise the postings - the Streisland effect.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Tory wanker

    "As far as I can see, it is absolutely clear that Raoul Moat was a callous murderer-full stop, end of story-and I cannot understand any wave, however small, of public sympathy for this man"

    Really? Not heard the earlier recordings where fearing for his own mental health, he approached the authorities seeking psychiatric treatment, then?

    I know, that's too complex a narrative, the world doesn't have any call to be in shades of grey- politicians must be seen to "get tough" and the facts be damned.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Cameron is still giddy

    People can say what they want. Isn't Clegeron supposed to be giving freedom back?

    Moat probably needed psychiatric help rather than a good old tasering. Policy for which Cameron is ultimately responsible. He should have held off rather than comment. Where's the fine judgement? Knee jerk reactions like this mirror most of the fine work Labour did.

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. david willis

    Freedom of speech

    Two issues;

    1. Freedom of speech!!! (in spite of the fact that the facebook site is mostly vitrol and foul language from idiots)

    2. Methinks the Prime Minister needs to think before he comments;

    a) There is currently an outstanding coroners inquest - this could turn into a manslaughter case against officers of West Yorkshire Police (come on guys, shotgunned taser rounds against a guy holding a shotgun to his own head!)

    b) Mr Moat, following further investigation, appears to be a man with fairly serious mental health issues. Issues that were not addressed by the local NHS and may not have been advised to local police.

    This should not detract from the fact that he murdered one person and seriously injured two others, but time will tell as to who is remembered as the murderer(s).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmmm Will this turn out like Baby P ??

      Baby P - The professionals who failed are now more culpable, in the eyes of the RedTops and their readers, than the people who actually murdered Peter. Well, one of the professionals anyway. As ever, social workers are the fall guys whilst police and the NHS, in particular its management, get off comparatively lightly.

      Moat - I wonder if we will reach the point where the professionals who failed him are treated as more culpable than Moat for his actions ?

      Somehow I doubt it.

      Nothing to do with a child being the victim in the first case. Oh, no.

      1. /dev/rant

        Wrong analogy

        Poor Peter was never in a position to express his sufferings or defend himself and those "professionals" should have been there to protect him which they demonstrably have failed.

        Baby Peter was innocent.

        Hardly the same can be said for RM.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I, for one, have no sympathy

    For Cameron. Granted, Moat kinda brought this on himself in many ways but it's still a miserable situation. 'Call me Dave' sounds more callous than the clearly confused and angry man he's condemning.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Folk Hero?

    We have already created Folk Heroes out of crimminals in the past, think Ned Kelly, Jesse James, Dillinger, Bonny and Clyde, and the list goes on. Raol Moat is simply getting added to the list, as untasteful as that might be to some of us (Sticks hand up). Maybe Moat should have got himself a suit of armour like Ned and people wouldn't be jumping up and down so much? Either that or the Thought police might be banning all Ned Kelly films, books shortly.

  30. Winkypop Silver badge

    Wouldn't happen in Oz

    Our glorious gubbermint won't allow such stuff.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Seems people (Politicos) arn't keeping up to date on events, Raoul Moat asked for psychiatric assesment and support, I think the people who decided not to give it to him share some of the blame.

    Callous evil killers tend not to ask for help, and if a person is willing to ask for help it means that they have hummanity.

  32. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Raol Moat was a psycho FB group

    I quite like the idea of the Roal moat is a hero group as it make it much easier for me to see who i want to have on my FB friends list and who i don't. If your so uneducated and stupid that you join the group and didn't actually know Roal Moat on a personal level and i expect to be removed from my friends list shortly afterwards.

    The funniest comment i heard over the Roal Moat situation was a woman speaking on the radio about placing flowers outside his house she said ' I didn't know Roal Moat but from what i understand he was just a gentle giant'

    Yeah cos i remember is the childrens classic book The BGF the part where the giant shoots his ex girlfriend, kills her new partner and open fires on an unarmed police man possibly blinding him for life.

    Where as i dont agree with the sentiment behind the FB group if its not breaking any law then it should remain and Facebook shouldnt be forced into removing something from there site just because our PM asked them too. but then they shouldnt have been made to install a CEOP button because of the 'wont someone think of the children' brigade. There is nothing to stop someone creating an anti Roal Moat group calling him an unbalanced psycho.

    What i find strange is that Roal Moat was not really any different that Derrick Bird in that they were both classed as being 'normal' but then pushed over the edge but no one is calling Derrick Bird a hero because he didnt go after the police.

  33. Andy Fletcher

    Facebook must be loving it

    The Prime Minister of the UK announcing on National Televsion that he disagrees with something written on ArseBook. I take it he realises that the first thing most [ignorant] people will do is rush over to said time wasting website to see what all the fuss is about. Smart people will wonder why he's drawing attention to it. Wonder how much extra ad revenue FaceBook is going to be able to put down to the actions of this psychopath. Every cloud...

  34. Thomas 4


    I don't recall anyone saying that sympathy should only be limited to one person. I feel sorry for the girlfriend, her now fatherless children and the poor cop that was blinded by Moat.

    I also feel sorry for Moat himself - normal, mentally balanced individuals do not go on killing sprees. The guy was paranoid and a drug abuser. He needed help, didn't get it and went mad as a result.

    A shitty set of circumstances for all involved. One other point - controversial subjects attract trolls like a magnet attracts filings. Does our web-savvy PM really think all those messages are genuine?

  35. N2 Silver badge

    Freedom of speech?

    Lets just say Mark Zuckerman got killed in a particularly horrific way.

    And his chainsaw wielding murderer having being shot dead by police, was glorified with a Facebook page in a similar manner.

    How many seconds would that last for then?

    1. ml100
      Thumb Up

      Limited Freedom of Speech

      Freedom of speech does not exist on Facebook. I have had my account closed on more than one occasion for infringing on the calling Mark Zuckerberg a c*nt policy.

      Mark will trumpet on about free speech as long as the content isnt too disagreeable to him and gives no fodder for legal action.

      More importantly I think sympathy for Moat is more about general hatred of police in the UK than anything else. If they spent time and money pursuing criminals rather than road users we might be in support of them by default.

    2. Geoff Campbell

      "If your so uneducated"



  36. h4rm0ny

    Bad, bad Cameron

    He's the Prime Minister. His business is dealing with international diplomacy, promoting policy and heading his party. If some law has been contravened, then that's a process for the courts. It's an abuse of his position to start writing letters saying that social groups should or should not support particular positions because he himself finds them distasteful.

    Free speech is free speech is free speech.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Bad, bad Cameron

      Facebook has no more responsibility to uphold people's right to free speech than I do. You can agree or disagree with its decisions when it comes to the content it allows or doesn't allow, but you can't really do it on that basis. It's a privately-owned site.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Facebook Responsibility

        I believe we all have a responsibility to act in such a way that we do the best for society as a whole. That's true of organizations and individuals because the actions of all of us affect society as a whole. If you want to believe that legal obligation is a suitable substitute for practical responsibilty, then that's your perogative. But I certainly can judge people and organizations on this basis and have just done so. My views are internally consistent and derived from first principles. If actions have a repurcussion on society, legal obligation or no, then by definition you are responsible for those repurcussions. There are plenty of things that are legal which I deem to be harmful to society and condemn. Facebook has become a focal point of much community discussion which gives it a great deal of potential power over public debate. I disagree that private ownership absolves it of upholding free speech. When 98% of the main areas that community debates occur are privately owned, the practical effects of private ownership equating to rights over discussion, become very serious indeed.

        Do you want to point me at non-privately owned places of discussion that are even remotely significant as Facebook? Free speech is free speach and the only argument for intefering with that is an organizational one, not a political one (i.e. "these are the Gentoo forums, hold your Ubuntu discussion somewhere else").

  37. Anonymous Coward

    He deserved what he got

    The police does his job well finally once, and they criticising them to be overreacted the situation. Personally I think all the mindless murderer, should be put down, instead to put in jail where they can live their little comfy life on our tax.

    1. ml100

      A little restraint with tax payers money would havent gone amiss!

      They took too long and used too many people to apprehend him. Since his target was police and not the public why not just go on high alert and wait him out.

      Also Mr Moat is the least heinous category of murder - mental issues, perhaps the only category that deserves our help rather than a needle in the neck fit for all the rest that kill, rape, abuse children.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: A little restraint with tax payers money would havent gone amiss!

        The fact that he had 'mental issues' doesn't necessarily make him mentally ill. It's not the same thing at all. If he'd been caught he might well have been declared sane. Maybe he had some legitimate problems, but it seems he had serious form in terms of beating the crap out of people and treating his children badly, and I don't think this is a straight case of 'man is mentally ill, not responsible for actions'. Not by any means. He was pretty good at blaming others for his own actions, that's for sure, and I'm sure he'd be pleased that others are now doing the same.

        Eeeesh. It's all pretty nasty, and while I can almost understand the sympathy - almost - I'll never understand the admiration. There is absolutely nothing admirable about this man or what he did. Any of it.

        1. Martin 71 Silver badge

          Just one tiny point :-)

          And it's mostly agreeing. But the legal defence of 'insanity' or lack thereof ('declared sane') has no connection with mental health issues. I work in a voluntary role with mental health charities, and most people are fully aware of what they're doing most of the time, Moat by the sound of it was aware his thoughts were wrong and would almost undoubtedly have been found guilty.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: He deserved what he got

      Alright I'll bite. And if they are subsequently found to be innocent due to a miscarriage of justice, then what? Because that's never happened before has it? Are you David Cameron in disguise? "Zero tolerance, full-stop, end-of-story <insert meaningless phrase here>"

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    after FB another diametric point of view to block

    is the website which comes out with 'news' stuff copied from Moat's 49 page letter to the cops.

    it reads nothing like the reliable SUN or the MAIL. these Anorak or (Borders independent points of view ought to be banned. it's really a bad idea of the Anorak to publish original source material quotes which put some perspective on the matter , rather than condemning out of hand a cross-dressing peadofile rapist murderer, like our traditional news sources. Anorak seem to be following the Julius Assange journalistic strategy and we all know where that will lead!

  39. Rogerborg

    Anyone got a copy of the Facebook Terms Of Service?

    I'm pretty sure that to be on there, you need to have a face.

  40. Chris Miller

    Missing the point

    It's all very well trying to defend absolute freedom of speech, except that it doesn't really exist. Society (currently, and you're welcome to argue against this stance) places limits on free speech. I am not free to make public statements that encourage violence against homosexuals, immigrants and other minorities, and if I did so in an identifiable way I would be in trouble. What about the friends and relatives of those whom Moat killed and injured, do you think they might be upset by (apparently) thousands of idiots leaping onto the Facebook and other bandwagons?

    No doubt Moat had his mental problems (as, arguably, does anyone that commits premeditated murder), and no doubt we're going to see a lot of 20-20 hindsight being flaunted in the newsrags claiming that he should have had earlier or better treatment. But I really doubt that there are simple and affordable solutions out there that will limit this kind of once a decade* event to a once a century event.

    * Yes, I know we've had two somewhat similar events this year, but taking a longer view, I think once a decade is approximately the correct figure.

  41. Jacqui

    trust, respect lost then hate

    Voters in the NE of england voted for the NF not because they believed in them but because they saw no better party to vote for. My mum voted NF I was shocked but can actually understand why.

    Likewise with the NE police - I suspect a lot of the people on the forums are condemming the police because they really really hate the local police - probably because they have beaten a relation and gotten off with a warning - it happens a lot :-(

    My sister has a friend who was escorting a load of 12yo's (youth football team) off the train when the plod decided to raid the train full of "football hooligans". They beat him unconcious in front of the kids then set two police dogs on him while he was unconcious. He may never recover use of the hand one of the dogs tore apart.

    While recovering in hospital the "CID" turned up to try and threaten him into keeping quiet when he told them to speak to his solictor they walked out. Next a PR officer representing the chief constable turned up to apologise and offer compensation - he told them to talk to his solicitor and they walked out without comment.

    They force are now fighting the case and have tried a number of dirty tricks to get him to drop the case including stopping his parents car, stripping it by the side of the road then leaving his aged relative to put it back together.

    The officers who almost killed him have yet to be identified.

    Can you understand why the police have no public respect and are hated by more and more of the community?

  42. Anonymous Coward


    Glad Moat was killed. He was a murdering scum ball with a death wish. It was granted.

    Sad Dave feels the need to wank about this when he has far more important things to worry about. He also doesn't appear to grasp the concept of free speech...shows that he is a narcissistic if his pre-election poster campaign wasn't enough to prove that.

    I like all of Moat's slippery mates exposing themselves to the media...hopefully they'll all be in a field soon theatrically pressing shotguns to their thug heads.

  43. Ben Rosenthal

    "I cannot understand"

    because you have less humanity than a common garden slug you snot nosed little cleft.

    The entire story from start to finish is a tragic disgrace, disgrace on the media that showed the live human hunt and the agencies that ignored all the requests to be helped and then to be stopped.

  44. Slappy

    David Cameron is a cock?

    Apparently so according to the FB group started after he stuck his tory nose in

  45. chubbymike

    Don't blame the social workers...

    Most of the blame is on the Gubment. Just because Moat asked for help does not mean the social workers should be blamed for not giving it to him. There are more people in need of help than there are resources to give it. If they helped him, some other poor sod would not have been given it, and he could have gone on the killing spree.

    You only ever hear about the social workers' work when things go wrong. How about hearing about it when it goes right for a change? That would be more use of Cameron's time than complaining about FB, or pissing about with stupid sites to find laws to repeal.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Freedom of speech? Difference of opinion? Satire?

    "As far as I can see, it is absolutely clear that Nelson Mandela was a callous murderer-full stop, end of story-and I cannot understand any wave, however small, of public sympathy for this man. There should be sympathy for his victims, and for the havoc he wreaked in that community; there should be no sympathy for him."

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Freedom of speech? Difference of opinion? Satire?


  47. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Personal opinion:

    Those setting up the groups have every right to do so. Anyone even saying they agree with Moat killing cops has a right to do so. Cameron has a right to say he disagrees with what they are saying. Cameron, as a person, has a right to complain to Facebook about it. Cameron AS PRIME MINISTER does NOT have a right to put that weight behind the complaint, as this amounts to government-sanctioned censorship.

    I am also disgusted that this point has not been raised by Clegg. Although I have slowly lost my support for the LibDems since the formation of the coalition, due to them doing what all politicians have done and put aside personal and party values in order to maintain power, he should at least show some Cojones and challenge Dave on the fundamental right to free speech.

    Come on Nick, show the country you are not just a lap dog and stand up for your parties supposed principals AT LEAST ONCE!

  48. Ball boy


    There's - what - a billion Internet users and this group has 30,000 followers? Statistically, that's nothing and worries me not one jot.

    However, I am concerned that a UK politician thinks it's his right to tell a US-registered company what comments it allows its users to post on a medium that is published outside the UK. Come to think of it, if he really wants to dabble in UK/US relations, he could start with the problems around the extradition of Gary McKinnon! After all, if he think he can tell Facebook where to get off, why stop there! Go Dave! ;-)

    Basic problem as I see it: the man killed a cop and threatened to kill more. Of *course* they'll throw everything they can to catch him and treat him with..umm..mild prejudice & this will always produce a counter-reaction in a minority. It wouldn't surprise me if the Taser was used after the shotgun was fired 'to establish any signs of life without risking further casualties' (translation: "he killed my mate, I have a Taser and we all want a peice of his ass"). The Police are a tight-knit bunch and look after their own first and foremost. Adverse reaction? Par for the course; it should have been expected.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Damned either way

    A man goes postal in Cumbria with no warning and kills and the police are criticised.

    A man goes postal in Yorkshire and announces that he will kill people and indeed does, the police respond... and get criticised.

    Who'd be a cop?

    1. Ian Stephenson Silver badge

      Did I miss something?

      Yorkshire? When did someone go postal there?

      Oh you must be a southerner... anything north of the midlands is the Peoples Republic of Yorkshire?

      Moat shot his victims in Gateshead and Newcastle, thats Tyne and Wear.

      He was cornered and shot himself in Rothbury, that's Northumberland.

      Shandy drinker...

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what!

    I would rather have a crappy little Facebook tribute group than him rotting in jail wasting taxpayers money!

    There's far more offensive things being said on many mainstream websites anyway.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm going to make an official complaint to Facebook because it is hosting discussions and support groups for the tedious UK Government.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    why is it suddenly prime ministers job to give his ignorant opinion of every news story?

    isnt there enough for him to do in office, making the country a better place and all that shit? or does he just sit there watching news 24 all day?

    I couldn't care less what PM thinks of recent news story X. When I want opinions I come here. When I want someone to fix pot holes or diagnose my wang problem I go to the government.

    1. max allan

      Your Wang?

      " diagnose my wang problem " ????

      What is the problem with your Wang, other than that Wang hasn't made many computers since the 80s and folded completely in the 90s.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damned by their own deeds.

    "A man goes postal in Yorkshire and announces that he will kill people and indeed does, the police respond"

    They responded after he'd started killing people. Just like they did in Cumbria. Only in Yorkshire they got a head start.

    Who'd be a cop? Someone who only listens to what suits them, apparently.

  54. AJF


    Thats right Mr Cameron, lets just wash our hands of the whole situation, he was obviously born evil and callous, society has no part to play in the creation of such people.. Nor can it be held in any way responsible in its failure to aid such people when they seek help... full stop, end of story.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is worrying and indicative

    Cameron wants Facebook to remove comments.

    However much you may disagree with them, they have the right to say it and Cameron has NO right to demand they are removed.

    See, I told ya, you just can not trust the blues.

  56. Richard 72

    as Voltaire once said

    Am I the first to include this quote "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

    1. Martin 71 Silver badge

      A title

      No, but the first to attribute it :-)

      1. NorthernMonkey

        Google is your friend.

        Incorrectly. It was Evelyn Beatrice Hall writing under a pseudonym about Voltaire.

  57. Drefsab


    So some people out there ether find this type of things funny or have sympathy for the killer? Harldly news, The internet is full of people of all types including those that find things that would disgust most funny.

    Look at the Madeleine Mccann, how long was it until jokes were being sent around about that?

    People are strange, not everyone will agree with the popular and common vue, and the thing is the internet gives a voice to those people. Just ignore it and more along.

  58. andy gibson


    If people want to write a fan site about the water surrounding the Queen's properties, what's the problem?

  59. Anonymous Coward

    Mentally Ill

    I am "mentally ill" - have had varying degrees of issues for 20+ years. I do NOT expect to be gunned down because of it. But then I wouldn't pick up a shotgun and seriously injure 2 people and kill another. If I did, I would expect those who know me to be revolted, saddened and ashamed of me and the police to shoot me dead if I refused to give up my weapon or attempt to disable me if I threatened to kill myself...

    The police took a huge risk with their own lives to try and bring Moat in alive. Tasers are not the perfect disabling weapon, he could easily have turned the gun on them after a failed shocking. Now "we" question their actions and martyr Moat. IMO that is mass-mental illness - time to put Prozac in the water...

    Fair enough people have opinions, let us not pander to them please.

    PS. Am I right in thinking all the pictures of police with Tasers in the press show them with the X26? Either way, which is potentially more lethal, Taser XREP or HK G36?

    pps. Wow avoided ranting, I think!

    1. Martin 71 Silver badge

      Interesting idea

      Prozac in the water would save me prescription charges, I support this idea!

      On the other hand, questioning the police's actions isn't a bad thing. Provided it's done even handedly, which in this case, obviously it hasn't.

      1. someblokeontheinternettoldme

        its already in the water supply...

        Prozac is so over perscribed by the medical profession its already detectable in the water supply apparantly

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One can sympathise without condoning...

    While I certainly can't condone Moat's actions I can, as a functioning human being feel sympathy for him - as I would anyone who's life seems to have go so wrong somewhere they end up in this situation. Just as I feel sympathy for his victims.

    For me this raises several issues: It seemed that all the signs that bad things could happen were there and yet nothing was done - either due to disinterest or lack or resources.

    The slightly ghoulish way the media latched on to events, turning it into a cross between Natural Born Killers, the Running Man and Big Brother.

    That elements of society have become so disenfranchised from the police that they'll actually support, and label a legend, someone who was out to kill officers.

    I'd rather Dave looked long and hard at these issues than having a go at Facebook.

    And as a side not - Dave claims to be a Christian. From my understanding one of the key points of the Christian faith was that of forgivness, love and understanding and that God loves everyone unconditionally. Reading Dave's comments on Moat just seemed to be slightly hypocritical. But then he is a polititian...


      Culpability is Wide-Ranging

      "That elements of society have become so disenfranchised from the police that they'll actually support, and label a legend, someone who was out to kill officers."

      Moat was relentlessly persecuted by the police once he got out of jail and worked on building up a small gardening business, according to his brother and others (I've heard it was because they believed he knew the identity of a murderer but couldn't get the information out of him) . Hundreds of stops of his vehicle, getting it impounded on trumped-up charges and the like.

      The repeatedly poked a bear with a stick. And then the bear went apeshit.

      I think thats one of the reasons people have greater sympathy for Moat than would otherwise be the case, and it's interesting to see the mainstream news reports that repeatedly fail to mention the police harassment and the part it might have played in the eventual murder and rampage, albeit by an already violent and unstable individual.

  61. ShaggyDoggy

    Free speech

    ... extends even to David Cameron

  62. Anonymous Coward

    An utter bastard he might have been

    but he was still someones son.

    Let him RIP and deal with his demons on the other side.

    All the cretinous bastards calling him a hero deserve nothing fucking less than being treated with contempt by the rest of civilised society.

    In many ways they are worse by glorifying what this bastard did.

    He wasnt a hero, he wasnt a martyr.

    He was a fucking unhinged loon.

    There will be reprecusions from this for a long time.

    Somewhat detracted from the other murdering bastard the other week and more apparent police "inefficiency" though methinks.

    And that police woman in charge, what a fucking munter...

  63. Ben Rosenthal


    are we just ignoring the fact that you have to become a "fan" to post any sort of comment, lets not let facts get in the way of a good rabble!


    1. PirateSlayer
      Paris Hilton

      I agree

      When it comes to delicate situations, talking a nutter down and effective policing, top of my list of concerns is that the officer in charge is attractive. The same goes for politicians. We need fewer people with brains, and more people who would try to get onto beautiful

  64. Richard Porter

    Shut the f*** up

    Why don't the Con-Dems just shut up about the silly arsebook pages instead of giving them all the publicity they don't deserve?

  65. Cunningly Linguistic

    Freedom of Speech?

    Anyone who believes in this myth needs to open their eyes and ears.

    The UK has never had and never will have Freedom of Speech.

    And Moat was a twat who was destined to get the death he received.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Freedom of Speech?

      It doesn't half piss me off when people start complaining that we don't have free speech in this country. We've got more freedom in all senses than the vast majority of humanity, and while there's always room for improvement and we must be vigilant so as not to lose any ground, it's an insult to the genuinely oppressed to whinge about how shackled and gagged we are.


      1. Cunningly Linguistic

        Ahhh, I get you...

        It should, in reality, be called Partial Freedom of Speech. My bad.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Ahhh, I get you...


          1. Cunningly Linguistic

            Does this mean...

            ...that we're friends then?

            Debate, it seems to be such a dying skill. I blame textspeak really, or should that be Freedom of Textspeak?

          2. Ball boy

            See? Freedom of speech in action!

            Ms. Bee may or may not be correct in her statement - but the fact is, in the UK, she's entitled to say it out loud without fear of reprisal and she bloody well did! Free speech exists in the UK. QED

            1. Cunningly Linguistic

              Only some...

              ...speech is free to speak. And most of that is the inconsequential stuff.

              By-and-large the important stuff tends to get shut down rather quickly.

              If we had true freedom of speech why would there be a need for a "D Notice" to exist?

  66. Anonymous Coward

    Why did Cameron get involved?

    I thought Cameron was just being a tw*t. A mate pointed out he may just be doing Murdoch's bidding in putting down Facebook; MySpace's competitor. It's a get-out but not a good one.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Harry Roberts is our friend

    As we used to sing at the footy ....

    Only the medium has changed. Hohum

  68. PT

    Well, it worked!

    I don't follow what goes on in the former home country much these days, so I first heard the name Raoul Moat today in The Register. Of course I immediately went looking for the FB page, but was notified it had been taken down after complaints from someone called David Cameron.

    By the way, how's that firearms ban working out for you guys over there?

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Firearms ban

      no too bad actually. In Britain it makes front page news for weeks not just numbers in the murder statistics for that day.

  69. Not Installed Properly

    Hang on

    Didn't the tories make a bit of a point of criticizing the nulabour government for being too nanny state, watching over peoples shoulders, etc? Isn't there entire thing about less government interference, more strength to the fittest? Not that I'm condoning people idolizing a lunatic with a shotgun on face-book, there are cinemas to do that in. But free speech = people talking sh*te occasionally, so accept it as part of the joy of being in government. And if more people were bright enough to realize that exercising your free speech and declaring in a public forum that you sympathize with some one who goes around hurting people might get you noticed as someone who does indeed, sympathize with someone who goes around hurting people, the world might be a better place.

    Also, surely theres a limit to what 'he was mentally ill' can excuse. I'd rather the nutter with the gun was dead long before he strolled past my kids, with his regrettably distorted perceptions and propensity for melodramatic, narcissistic violence, whatever the reason for his damage.

  70. Anonymous Coward

    It's a f*cking troll

    Probably set up by 4chan^H^H^H^H^HeBaums users. And Cameron just got trolled hard.

  71. Mephistro Silver badge

    There is something weird in this thread

    No one seems to be considering the possibility that the cops tasered this guy with the intent of saving his life. I mean, if you are in front of a hysterical mental case who's pointing a gun at his own head and seems very intent at killing himself, and want to prevent him from blowing his brains all over the place, tasering him doesn't look such a bad idea, as a last ditch effort to save him.

    I also find It difficult to believe that the cops involved were of the Bully-pig variety, given the media interest in this story. I'd be very surprised if the above said cops weren't some kind of experts in the area, with some knowledge in negotiations and psychiatry, at the very least, and clear orders to preserve Moat's life at any cost, to prevent any suspicion of wrongdoing by the police, being the guy a cop-killer and all that...

    My 0,02 €

    The Terminator, because there is no Robocop icon.

  72. Lottie

    This proves it.

    Dave wouldn't need to speak to Mr Z if he'd just had a "dislike" button.

  73. Aculeo

    Moat and "Freedom of Speech"

    First off, I have no particular feelings about Moat. I'm not sure I can honestly say I feel sympathy for him, except possibly in the most general sense that he's dead when he didn't have to be. But in terms of sympathy with his position or his actions, I have none. Absolutely none whatsoever. His supposed mental health issues (and I say 'supposed' only because I know nothing at all about him except what the media are feeding me) mean that it's difficult to argue that "he deserved it", as I've seen some people saying. I think the only way I can really view it is in the most clinical sense: he made himself a threat and the threat is now eliminated.

    The question of whether the police were at fault is moot. I can't know what happened, and I can't second-guess what could have happened. Nor can the media, but of course that doesn't stop them. Moat is dead, so if we allow him to shoulder the full responsibility for what he did (as would be my first instinct), then the media have no-one left to demonise. Therefore, there must be blame to be apportioned somewhere else. The media have an agenda, and that agenda is to make money. News and balanced reporting will always, but always, take at least second place behind this.

    As to these attention-seekers on Facebook, if they want to idolise this sorry individual then that's up to them. One point I would make, though, amidst all the ranting about "free speech", is that it's important to understand the difference between the civil right to free speech, which means you can say what you like about what you like without being censored or locked up; and the concession granted us by the owners of private, corporate forums to say what they agree to let us say on those forums.

    There is no intrinsic right to freedom of speech when you're using a privately owned medium. If El Reg, for example, wanted to ban a certain point of view from its forums, it would be perfectly within its rights to do so, because those forums are private. We do not have a civic right to freedom of expression here; nor do users of Facebook. It's a little like the common assumption that the public have a right to enter a shop. You don't: the shop extends an open invitation, but if the staff decide they don't like you, that invitation can be withdrawn.

    Facebook were not ordered to remove the group. If they had been, and had been forced under law to comply, then I'd be worried. They were asked; they refused. Had they been asked, and *agreed* to comply, then there would be no free speech issue: it is the company's site, and users operate under the company's rules.

  74. Arweet

    Cameron, please don't feed the trolls

    Cameron, you don't get how the web works.

    People who show support for Raoul on Facebook aren't doing it because they are *really* fans of Raoul.

    Primarily, they are doing it to seek attention.

    And to provoke exaclty the kind of outraged reaction displayed by you.

    All that you are have achieved is that even more people will join the fanclub now that they've read about this in the news.

  75. silver darling

    what about the budget Dave?

    Mirror says ... "most expensive manhunt in British police history .. final bill expected to run into millions" Hardly value for money, after all it was General Public that spotted him .

    The ROI is in the TV and newspaper rights, pics from helicopters aren't cheap and the chase was viewed by millions. Next time let Gazza do the negotiation, for the price of a crate or 10 of lager it would've lasted into the primetime weekend slot .. a little celebrity goes a long way and Gazza and lager's cheap these days ..

    Dave, you're getting close with the 'Full stop' line but a couple more 'he was a bad un' comments and that would be Question Time and the red tops full for next week, possibly getting a last snigger on 'mock the week' next month. Where's ya media savvy now Dave ? and why wasn't Sam in Northumberland ?

  76. Anonymous Coward

    Just to add

    (Because we all know the only thing better than an opinionated post from some idiot on the internet, is 2 posts)

    *why* was an gr4a (i think) Tornado launched to hunt for this guy when the police have perfectly serviceable helicopters with infrared cameras? Since when do the RAF jump to the police's call just because a officer was shot?*

    *im not advocating shooting coppers you understand, it just seems a bit like a waste of money just for a very american style "show of force". surprised they didnt get shock and awe...

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Just to add

      He shot two civilians too and threatened to shoot not just police but doctors and the public at large. I don't think it was such a ridiculous response.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Really? its one man, on foot, surely a helicopter would be more suitable for the job rather than fueling up and launching a fighter jet to hunt for him.

        Maybey the police could invest in a UAV? (not a bad idea now i think about it)

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: re:

          Maybe so, but I was just pointing out that the response wasn't solely because of the cop shooting.

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