UK May Block Facebook And Twitter To Quell Riots

riotsFollowing another night of disorder in a country beset by deep inequality, corruption in the halls of power, and scant opportunity for young adults, the conservative regime in Bahrain has threatened to cut off access to social networking websites until the unrest subsides. Oh sorry — this is the news from England. Via Raw Story:

In a move that calls to mind the start of the most serious unrest in nations across the Middle East over the last year, David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, told Parliament Thursday that authorities may shut down social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, in hopes that it would return calm to their streets.

The remarks came one day after British authorities discussed turning off the messaging function on BlackBerry phones, which they suggested may remove a tool protesters and rioters were using.

“Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organized via social media,” Cameron told Parliament. “Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill.

“So 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. I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers.”

Britain is still reeling after four of the worst nights of rioting for decades, which started in London then spread to other cities including Manchester and Birmingham after police allegedly killed a young man named Mark Duggan, a father of four, who they claimed was involved in a drug deal.

Across the Middle East, brutal, authoritarian regimes took similar action against communications in the face of unprecedented unrest, blocking Facebook, Twitter, and in many cases cutting off Internet and mobile phone access altogether, but each successive step only made the regimes’ problems worse.

80 Comments on "UK May Block Facebook And Twitter To Quell Riots"

  1. “David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, told Parliament Thursday that authorities may shut down social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, in hopes that it would return calm to their streets.”
    Well THAT’S a knee-jerk reaction if I ever saw one.

  2. “David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, told Parliament Thursday that authorities may shut down social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, in hopes that it would return calm to their streets.”
    Well THAT’S a knee-jerk reaction if I ever saw one.

  3. There is no way this will happen.

  4. There is no way this will happen.

  5. Hadrian999 | Aug 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm |

    the streets will be filled by pissed of fb users in the depths of farmville withdrawal, the horror

  6. Hadrian999 | Aug 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm |

    the streets will be filled by pissed of fb users in the depths of farmville withdrawal, the horror

  7. Hadrian999 | Aug 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm |

    the streets will be filled by pissed of fb users in the depths of farmville withdrawal, the horror

    • Holy fucking ghost | Aug 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm |

      yeah facebook keeps idle hands busy. And we all know what idle hands are. 

      • DeepCough | Aug 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm |

        Interesting point considering most people are on Facebook than on porn sites. >.<

      • idle hands and the devil?  rofl   what a joke , the problem is not idle hands its the busy bodys up in government that caint leave anything alone .  they always have to be active , inserting themselves into the lives of people , they have no business interfering with.

        • Holy fucking ghost | Aug 11, 2011 at 11:06 pm |

          the government is full of idle hands thats why they do the devils work mr know it all, they dont have true work to do, thus the meddle and become devils advocates like yourself. thus the point stands that idle hands are the devils playground. you are the joke fool. watch that tone with me.

        • Holy fucking ghost | Aug 11, 2011 at 11:13 pm |

          its not just the government tho, riots happen from time to time. England is mild compared to most places in the world, they are just making a big deal out this because it supposed to be a totally civilized place and its not. I come from a place where stuff like this happens in a month to month basis and its never really made global news. plus this has been predicted and talked about in a previous article in way http://www.disinfo.com/2011/07/britain-is-only-four-meals-away-from-anarchy/

      • idle hands and the devil?  rofl   what a joke , the problem is not idle hands its the busy bodys up in government that caint leave anything alone .  they always have to be active , inserting themselves into the lives of people , they have no business interfering with.

      • AT THE GENITALS

  8. We’ve all seen it before.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire

  9. We’ve all seen it before.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire

  10. We’ve all seen it before.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire

  11. Anonymous | Aug 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm |

    “I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers”

    “Na, minister, we’re good, thanks for offering”

  12. JoiquimCouteau | Aug 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm |

    “I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers”

    “Na, minister, we’re good, thanks for offering”

  13. Holy fucking ghost | Aug 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm |

    yeah facebook keeps idle hands busy. And we all know what idle hands are. 

  14. timid teriyaki | Aug 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm |

    the world is run by morons. we all saw this coming and we did’nt do a thing to stop it. doomed. you’re all doomed….

  15. timid teriyaki | Aug 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm |

    the world is run by morons. we all saw this coming and we did’nt do a thing to stop it. doomed. you’re all doomed….

  16. Anonymous | Aug 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm |

    Yes, because that worked so well in Egypt…

  17. Yes, because that worked so well in Egypt…

    • Tuna Ghost | Aug 12, 2011 at 7:35 am |

      Right?  They have to know that cutting off social media didn’t qwell anything, that the people just learned to organize in other ways.  It makes you wonder what their real motivation is.  

      Then again, I would imagine that a great deal of the protesters are a.) white, b.) young, and some of them are no doubt c.) middle class.  Cutting off social media might have more an effect on them than on your average middle eastern protester.  

  18. OMG there’s blood gushing out of this man’s severed artery! Does anybody have one of those cute band-aids? You know the ones with Disney characters on them?

  19. DrDavidKelly | Aug 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm |

    OMG there’s blood gushing out of this man’s severed artery! Does anybody have one of those cute band-aids? You know the ones with Disney characters on them?

  20. DeepCough | Aug 11, 2011 at 10:00 pm |

    Interesting point considering most people are on Facebook than on porn sites. >.<

  21. Shutting down the social networking isn’t going to stop the fire that’s already burning.

  22. Shutting down the social networking isn’t going to stop the fire that’s already burning.

  23. Wastelandindustrial | Aug 11, 2011 at 10:59 pm |

    Can you say Tor proxy David? fckng fggt…

  24. Cameron, somehow…I’m just not convinced that the root of your problems is insufficient control over media or insufficiently harsh measures against rioters…have you considered perhaps re-examining the general dissatisfaction with the shrinking opportunities for education and employment? Or perhaps the general discontent with a surveillance state that presumes guilt before innocence?  Just a thought…but in just a year and half of one new administration…you’ve managed to piss off the workers, the students, the poor, and just about everyone else as well…at a guess…I’d say if you turn off the phones and turn off the computers and completely capture the airwaves…you’ll have even more people with no media to entertain them suddenly finding time to march.

  25. Cameron, somehow…I’m just not convinced that the root of your problems is insufficient control over media or insufficiently harsh measures against rioters…have you considered perhaps re-examining the general dissatisfaction with the shrinking opportunities for education and employment? Or perhaps the general discontent with a surveillance state that presumes guilt before innocence?  Just a thought…but in just a year and half of one new administration…you’ve managed to piss off the workers, the students, the poor, and just about everyone else as well…at a guess…I’d say if you turn off the phones and turn off the computers and completely capture the airwaves…you’ll have even more people with no media to entertain them suddenly finding time to march.

    • Liam_McGonagle | Aug 12, 2011 at 11:20 am |

      Good points.  Isn’t Cameron still in process of dodging a political bullet over one of his former minister’s involvement in the Murdoch phonetapping scandal?  Cameron was singing quite a different tune then . . .

  26. Cameron, somehow…I’m just not convinced that the root of your problems is insufficient control over media or insufficiently harsh measures against rioters…have you considered perhaps re-examining the general dissatisfaction with the shrinking opportunities for education and employment? Or perhaps the general discontent with a surveillance state that presumes guilt before innocence?  Just a thought…but in just a year and half of one new administration…you’ve managed to piss off the workers, the students, the poor, and just about everyone else as well…at a guess…I’d say if you turn off the phones and turn off the computers and completely capture the airwaves…you’ll have even more people with no media to entertain them suddenly finding time to march.

  27. ENGLAND WILL BURN FOR SUCH ACTIONS.
    THE RETALIATION WILL BE TENFOLD.

  28. ENGLAND WILL BURN FOR SUCH ACTIONS.
    THE RETALIATION WILL BE TENFOLD.

    • I almost want them to do it .    I say go for it  just watch and more angry people begin marching in the streets.  

      This all started when they brought in some moron with an MP5  to arrest a guy with a hand gun ?  or was he even carrying a hand gun?  can you say plant? .    

      An mp5 is an extreme overkill  semi to fully automatic with a flip of the switch.  no wonder people got pissed off .  

      it wasnt an arrest it was an assasination.

  29. ENGLAND WILL BURN FOR SUCH ACTIONS.
    THE RETALIATION WILL BE TENFOLD.

  30. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 12:39 am |

    authoritarian, fascist, orwellian, dystopian, anti democratic.

    tell me again why ppl voted for this pompous etonian rat?

  31. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 12:39 am |

    authoritarian, fascist, orwellian, dystopian, anti democratic.

    tell me again why ppl voted for this pompous etonian rat?

  32. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 12:39 am |

    authoritarian, fascist, orwellian, dystopian, anti democratic.

    tell me again why ppl voted for this pompous etonian rat?

  33. Jin The Ninja | Aug 11, 2011 at 8:39 pm |

    authoritarian, fascist, orwellian, dystopian, anti democratic.

    tell me again why ppl voted for this pompous etonian rat?

  34. deleting facebook wont get rid of it all, there is myspace, text messaging, phone calls, and something called face to face communication. people could have family in different countries and may lose that communication with their own family, because of people who cant control their “temper.” 
    Facebook is such a big site….
    PLEASE don’t block. Just do your job :L 

  35. deleting facebook wont get rid of it all, there is myspace, text messaging, phone calls, and something called face to face communication. people could have family in different countries and may lose that communication with their own family, because of people who cant control their “temper.” 
    Facebook is such a big site….
    PLEASE don’t block. Just do your job :L 

  36. 1984 anyone ?   yea just another way government can become thought police… 

    you pissed off alot of people and now you think a huge part of it is social networks , morons. 

    about as bad as obama here in the US .   the power hungrys appetite will never be filled untill were all in chains and bondage. 

  37. 1984 anyone ?   yea just another way government can become thought police… 

    you pissed off alot of people and now you think a huge part of it is social networks , morons. 

    about as bad as obama here in the US .   the power hungrys appetite will never be filled untill were all in chains and bondage. 

  38. idle hands and the devil?  rofl   what a joke , the problem is not idle hands its the busy bodys up in government that caint leave anything alone .  they always have to be active , inserting themselves into the lives of people , they have no business interfering with.

  39. I almost want them to do it .    I say go for it  just watch and more angry people begin marching in the streets.  

    This all started when they brought in some moron with an MP5  to arrest a guy with a hand gun ?  or was he even carrying a hand gun?  can you say plant? .    

    An mp5 is an extreme overkill  semi to fully automatic with a flip of the switch.  no wonder people got pissed off .  

    it wasnt an arrest it was an assasination.

  40. Holy fucking ghost | Aug 12, 2011 at 3:06 am |

    the government is full of idle hands thats why they do the devils work mr know it all, they dont have true work to do, thus the meddle and become devils advocates like yourself. thus the point stands that idle hands are the devils playground. you are the joke fool. watch that tone with me.

  41. Holy fucking ghost | Aug 12, 2011 at 3:13 am |

    its not just the government tho, riots happen from time to time. England is mild compared to most places in the world, they are just making a big deal out this because it supposed to be a totally civilized place and its not. I come from a place where stuff like this happens in a month to month basis and its never really made global news. plus this has been predicted and talked about in a previous article in way http://disinfo.com/2011/07/britain-is-only-four-meals-away-from-anarchy/

  42. Holy fucking ghost | Aug 12, 2011 at 3:14 am |

    im on both 

  43. Mr Willow | Aug 12, 2011 at 4:28 am |

    Probably the same reason people voted for W. the second time.

  44. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 4:55 am |

    AT THE GENITALS

  45. Stevewhite30 | Aug 12, 2011 at 5:48 am |

    The government and police caused the so called rioting by social injustice spending cuts, and the spark that caused it was when the police murdered a man then a 150 people when peacefully demonstrating outside a police station for no reason, 15 police officers beat up a 16 year old girl

  46. Stevewhite30 | Aug 12, 2011 at 1:48 am |

    The government and police caused the so called rioting by social injustice spending cuts, and the spark that caused it was when the police murdered a man then a 150 people when peacefully demonstrating outside a police station for no reason, 15 police officers beat up a 16 year old girl

  47. it’s worrying when the only on the ground news you can get is from foxnews.

    but they make it sound like a party, like people are posting on facebook and twitter for the fun of it

  48. it’s worrying when the only on the ground news you can get is from foxnews.

    but they make it sound like a party, like people are posting on facebook and twitter for the fun of it

  49. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 6:21 am |

    Thats why its called Reactionary.

  50. respect cult | Aug 12, 2011 at 11:32 am |

    timid teriyaki is genius name creation in action 

  51. Tuna Ghost | Aug 12, 2011 at 11:35 am |

    Right?  They have to know that cutting off social media didn’t qwell anything, that the people just learned to organize in other ways.  It makes you wonder what their real motivation is.  

    Then again, I would imagine that a great deal of the protesters are a.) white, b.) young, and some of them are no doubt c.) middle class.  Cutting off social media might have more an effect on them than on your average middle eastern protester.  

  52. DeepCough | Aug 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

    “YAY! WE’RE DOOMED.” ~GIR

  53. Simiantongue | Aug 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm |

    It’s my impression that people take to rioting when they believe that their voices are not being heard. So not only have they not listened, the reaction is to cut off their voice even more. Just in case you though the fires were going out, not to worry, the government has arrived with more gasoline just in the nick of time.

  54. Simiantongue | Aug 12, 2011 at 8:50 am |

    It’s my impression that people take to rioting when they believe that their voices are not being heard. So not only have they not listened, the reaction is to cut off their voice even more. Just in case you though the fires were going out, not to worry, the government has arrived with more gasoline just in the nick of time.

  55. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm |

    “Yeah.  Remember all that crap we supposedly learned in Northern Ireland about non-ideological government actually being responsive and responsible to its citizens?  And the way that failure to do so is a guarantee of violent anarchy?  Forget all that shit.”

    David Cameron, 11th August, 2011 (translated into English from the original douche-speak)

  56. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm |

    “Yeah.  Remember all that crap we supposedly learned in Northern Ireland about non-ideological government actually being responsive and responsible to its citizens?  And the way that failure to do so is a guarantee of violent anarchy?  Forget all that shit.”

    David Cameron, 11th August, 2011 (translated into English from the original douche-speak)

  57. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm |

    “Yeah.  Remember all that crap we supposedly learned in Northern Ireland about non-ideological government actually being responsive and responsible to its citizens?  And the way that failure to do so is a guarantee of violent anarchy?  Forget all that shit.”

    David Cameron, 11th August, 2011 (translated into English from the original douche-speak)

  58. Liam_McGonagle | Aug 12, 2011 at 11:19 am |

    “Yeah.  Remember all that crap we supposedly learned in Northern Ireland about non-ideological government actually being responsive and responsible to its citizens?  And the way that failure to do so is a guarantee of violent anarchy?  Forget all that shit.”

    David Cameron, 11th August, 2011 (translated into English from the original douche-speak)

  59. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm |

    Good points.  Isn’t Cameron still in process of dodging a political bullet over one of his former minister’s involvement in the Murdoch phonetapping scandal?  Cameron was singing quite a different tune then . . .

  60. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm |

    Good points.  Isn’t Cameron still in process of dodging a political bullet over one of his former minister’s involvement in the Murdoch phonetapping scandal?  Cameron was singing quite a different tune then . . .

  61. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm |

    Good points.  Isn’t Cameron still in process of dodging a political bullet over one of his former minister’s involvement in the Murdoch phonetapping scandal?  Cameron was singing quite a different tune then . . .

  62. I dont think blocking Facebook or Twitter will help, people find other ways….

  63. I dont think blocking Facebook or Twitter will help, people find other ways….

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