Added by Monique Robinson on August 11, 2011
In a move that proved to be ineffective during the Arab Spring uprising of 2011, British PM David Cameron suggested on Thursday blocking access to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook when they are being used to plot “violence, disorder and criminality”.
The statements came during a special parliamentary sitting of the House of Commons where the Prime Minister addressed MPs with a number of updates and announcements with regards to the UK riots that started August 6 in several cities including London. “The whole country has been shocked by the most appalling scenes of people looting, violence, vandalising and thieving,” said the PM at the opening of his statement.
The PM discussed how criminals were using social media to organize and stay ahead of enforcement efforts. Prime Minister Cameron said, “Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media…we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”
The home secretary is reported to have plans to meet with representatives from Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry to discuss their services’ responsibility for messages that could supr violence. The claim that social media sites like Twitter and Facebook has been widely cited, yet is based on very little evidence. Even BlackBerry Messenger – a private messaging application – is being considered to have played a role even though it is not related to social media.
Possible UK government actions could affect forthcoming messaging applications by Google+, Facebook and Apple’s upcoming iMessage.