David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, believes he has found certain culprits which are to be blamed in the recent riots, which shook London and other cities, namely Twitter and Facebook. He was addressing to the parliament on Thursday when he expressed his views on the issue which has raised questions over British security institutes.
According to the British media, his government has summoned not only Twitter and Facebook, but also Research in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, for a meeting to discuss their roles during the recent outbursts. Cameron also said that government officials and concerned authorities are working together "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."
In reply, representatives of Facebook and Twitter said they are happy to meet with the government, although it can easily be presumed that they will object to any kind of censorship and social media ban. According to Cameron, more than 1,200 people have been arrested so far, throughout the nation.
An estimate found that more than £100 million ($161 million) in stolen goods and property damage have been lost by UK retailers over four nights of rioting. It has been reported that a lot of UK rioters organized themselves by using BlackBerry Messenger, which is a free, private instant-messaging tool, as well as Twitter and Facebook.
However, the same social networking sites have also been used to call for peace and organize cleanup efforts following the violent riots. Free speech advocates have objected to Cameron’s address by stating that it represents nothing less than an attack on the entire concept of freedom of speech which will in turn have some frightening consequences for democracy. Although, the riots and the damage done is highly condemnable, restricting freedom of speech and social media ban is not appreciable either. We have to wait and see how this meeting goes along and what further steps will the UK government takes. Keep visiting us for more updates.