Theresa May wants to boot troublemakers from social media

The Home Secretary has revealed that troublemakers could be banned from social media following meetings with Facebook, Twitter and others.

Fielding question on how to tackle gang culture, Home Sec Theresa May highlighted ongoing discussions with representatives of the social media sites and BlackBerry.  Meetings also included the Association of Chief Police Offices and the Metropolitan Police, with regular contact kept up since the summer’s JD Sports free-for-all.

Taking down social networks completely was unrealistic and shortsighted. It seems the government is now considering a more targeted approach.

May said in a Commons debate that the discussions were about kicking people off social networks for breaching “terms and conditions”.

She also said that “subsequent meetings have been held on a one-to-one basis between the police and the individual companies”.

It’s unclear how a move to block users from, say, Facebook would actually be implemented. 

As any web savvy young tearaway will know, it’s easy enough to get around a ban. Not that we’re suggesting this is a lot of hot air to show some control over the hordes of BlackBerry wielding kids marauding through the capital’s streets this summer.

TechEye approached the Home Office to find out about its plans to kick off individuals from social networks.

We were told that that any decisions to remove users from networks are subject to discussions between the police and the networks, and subject to terms and conditions.  There are however “no hard and fast rules” at the moment as meetings are still taking place. 

For the time being, Home Office will not be issuing any directives, telling TechEye that “we are not getting into the territory of banning people right now”.

While proposed curbs on social media have proved highly controversial, one recent survey suggests the public is actually in favour of a wider blackout.

According to a poll by Unisys, two thirds of adults are in favour of shutting down social networks during civil unrest, with 70 percent agreeing to a blackout on Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry. Only 27 percent of those surveyed were against such a move.