The Coalition government is starting to realise it can’t realistically block social media.
This month’s riots, which spread throughout the country, were organised using Blackberry phones and Facebook and Twitter and all of this other new internet stuff we don’t quite get, said the government.
In an emergency recall of Parliament, David Cameron said the best way to prevent young people from emulating the Bullingdon Club’s restaurant-smashing antics is probably to outright ban social media in times of crisis.
There are two theories. Cameron either doesn’t bother with the news, and relies on a daily summary (with laminated pictures of a page 3 top totty round-up) delivered by someone formerly on the News of the Screws’ payroll. Or he’s actually pretty up to date and realised that the public and Parliament were both desperately braying that something must be done.
Won’t someone PLEASE think of the children? Social media and electronics got scapegoated because it’s an easy target that a lot of people still don’t ‘get’, beyond tagging vomit in a Facebook album called SHAGALUF.
It was probably the latter.
However, after throwing people in jail for four years for making crap jokes on Facebook, human rights advocates have got their pants in a twist, and quite right, too.
Facebook, RIM and Twitter all went to meet the fuzz and talk to politicians. The dialogue went something like sure, we’ll help the cops, but the Home Office reportedly concluded, writes Karen Friar at ZDnet UK, that shutting down social networks is a bit like prosecuting the postman.
Anyway, RIM is in a bit of trouble as it is thanks to the two-headed dragon running the company, so the Bullingdon Boys can sleep easier knowing there’s an outside chance it’ll shut itself down, anyway.