back to article MPs probe social networks' position following riots

Policy wonks from Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry faced MPs on the Home Affairs committee today who were carrying out a postmortem of the disorder across England last month. Each company reiterated earlier statements that they operated within UK law when providing their communication services to their customers. BlackBerry's …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    So I guess the police will now get to shut down all TV and Radio along with cell-phones at the hint of trouble?

    1. Titus Technophobe


      I suspect, as I have suggested in a previous post, that the Police would have wanted to switch the mobile phone networks to emergency only.

      The UK is a democracy, not a police state.

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

        "UK is a democracy"

        For as we well know the number of times the D word is mentioned is direct correlation to the reduction of actual democracy that state has, to the point that any country with the D word in it's name rarely has any such thing!

        As most others will no doubt point out, how on earth did people in days of yore organise rebellions without the Internet, Twitter and Facebook?

        1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

          Or if it has the word "People's" in it. Even truer if it has both.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            welcome to The Peoples Kingdom of Democratic Britain and Free Ireland.

  2. Colin Millar

    And on Monday

    We'll all pick some fluff from our navels and watch some paint dry.

    Should be about as informative as that committee discussion.

    Could they not have thought up some more challenging questions like "Did you have a good journey?" or "Did you see Match of the Day last night?"

    Are MPs intending to serve some purpose at any time in the near future?

  3. Paul_Murphy

    The 'HOW' is not as important as the 'WHY'

    Questions such as how 40% of the people doing the rioting had more than 10 convictions and other such statistics are far more valuable to finding a long-term solution to this sort of disturbance than blaming the police, social media or video games.

    Politicians seem to be more inclined to see the 'rioters' as an enemy that must be battled, and as long as that kind of thinking prevails then it will be a never-ending task (much like the 'war on terror' I would say) since the underlying causes will never be acknowledged, let alone addressed.

    If the emphasis was placed on a range of other issues then I would suggest a picture might emerge:

    House prices, jobs - particularly home-grown ones, education, discipline, rights AND responsibilities (and so on).

    For instance I feel sorry for all the students who cannot get jobs after studying hard, let alone the students who cannot get into university when they deserve to - and when they do they cannot afford to stay.

    If they are not going to be contributing to society then they will be taking from it - which is sad for everyone.

    For me the main issue as far as the riots go is what made the rioters feel that it was worth it to riot - do they have nothing to lose?


    1. Titus Technophobe


      Because the people involved with the riots are unprincipled scum who when they considered the likely penalty decided on balance the gain outweighed the risk.

    2. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Of course they have nothing

      they already 'loosed' their benefits.

    3. Stephen 10

      Statistics fail!

      It was not 40% of the rioters, it was 40% of those the Police arrested related to the riots.

      Obviously it's easier for the Police to identify people with previous records and they already have their full information, address, etc.

      The arrests so far will simply be a subset of those involved and statistically meaningless.

      Just because the red-tops say something happened you should hardly take it as fact, or has the whole News of the World scandal passed you by?

  4. Mike Richards

    A use for Twitter?

    During the recent riots, the local police force ran an excellent Twitter feed giving up-to-the-minute information about the local situation. I know who live on their own or who are otherwise vulnerable who felt reassured there was timely official news that contrasted with the scary rumours flying around on other social networks.

    Cutting that feed off could have made things worse for a lot of people who otherwise didn't have information about what was going on.

  5. King Jack

    So I guess world war 3 will not be televised.

  6. Graham Marsden

    "Facebook has several hundred employees...

    "...who constantly do damn all when people raise complaints about fake accounts, being unfairly blocked for 'spamming' when they haven't, and who block people from their own pages when the log in has been been hacked etc etc etc..."

    There, fixed it for you!

  7. Nights_are_Long

    You know what I am torn here really torn, I want the police to have the power to do the job they are paid to do but I don't want said power abused in any fashion.

    On one hand shutting down the mobile network would stop coordination of mobs, and on the other we have freedom of speech. We can not find a happy middle ground because one side we have mob rule and on another we have a slippery slope to totalitarianism. We need to as a nation really sit down and figure out just what we are going to do in this situation, technology has passed by the law yet again and now the judicial system is playing catch up.

    But also this isn’t just a case of social media being abused it was a means to a end for people who took it upon themselves to go on a looting spree, nothing more. I am not qualified to explain the reasoning behind any excuse used by the rioters and I doubt many people are but we need to seriously find out why it is more acceptable to join a gang or go out looting. Or what seems to be an attitude of glorification of ignorance over learning in general by people not that much younger than myself (I am 26).

    Then perhaps we will see a real change for the better rather than allowing politicians who are more concerned with being seen to be doing something rather than actually doing something to address the issues.

  8. Tom 13

    Re: dismissed ... micro-blogging service was good for organising criminal activity

    Sure thing Baghdad Bob. Absolutely no evidence that ANY social media were used to generate flash mobs. Got it.

    How about you admit reality so you can then force the MPs to face it too: Social Media are good for organizing criminal activities, because they are good for organizing ANY social activities. And the government can setup mechanisms that will let the mostly good population aide the police in getting to, and identifying the people who use the medium for criminal activities, not cut them off at the knees.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020