Sticking up for the social networks

comments 8

The good people over at Facebook, Twitter and RIM are once again going to face questions from MPs over the August’s riots.

I’m a bit annoyed how a lot of blame is being put on social media. From where I’m standing, social media is just another form of communication. I’m sure there were plenty of people who were communicating about the riots through ‘normal’ ways like telephone and email. But because social media is so much more instant, it’s getting a bum rap!

But surely it was social media that helped catch a fair few of these people. Thanks to tumblrs like Catch a Looter (Which is now sadly gone…) and a stupid amount who thought that boasting about their loot with photos of themselves on Facebook and Twitter was a good idea.

Surely communication is only going to get easier in the future. More people with access to mobile Internet. Push messaging for everyone. It’s going to get harder and harder for anyone to police this. I guess that’s no reason not to try to do something.

We’re either heading to a future of absolute freedom of speech or we’re going to be policed to hell and back. I’m trying to think of some film titles, but they’re alluding me!


  1. I think anything politicians don’t understand is evil. Kids and adults nowadays are much more tech savvy than in previous years when riots happened, but the government needs to understand why these people are angry and address the real issues behind the riots than going after the medium they used to communicate.

    • Maybe it’d be useful to learn from the rioters and how they spread their news so that people in charge can communicate as quickly!

  2. Interesting points raised, all of which I agree with. I find it depressingly typical of the government to go in the wrong direction and, like Humaira says, not addressing the real, more important issues at hand.

    I remember seeing Twitter being used during the riots as more of a force for good. I spent so much time reading updates on there from people trying to rally help and support, that I actually felt like the community was giving the finger to those who tried to use it in the negative. Same with Facebook. And I recall that Tumblr Catch-A-Looter too. But that will probably be ignored by politicians and the general media, sadly.

    • Twitter was a massive source for good. Like anything in this world, it can be used for good or bad. It’s the people who use it, not the medium.

  3. How the communication was carried out is neither here nor there. All social networks do is allow for easier mass communication than phone calls.

    Social networks did not make people go out and riot and/or loot. For some people it was anger and a way to rage against ‘the man’, but in some cases it was a pure lack of morals.

    Instead of sticking it to the social networks, the government’s time would be better spent on the reasons many were so angry that they rioted in the first place. Facebook’s use during the rioting and looting is less important that the social deprivation that caused some to head for the streets in the first place.

  4. I think that some media outlets are abused by folks that don’t have any filters in place…indicators of right and wrong. Those people have always and will always exist. It isn’t the responsibility if social networks to police.

    Wish I’d been able to post there…..

    • Exactly – it isn’t their responsibility to filter people on their network based on actions they may or may not do.

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