Twitter Confirms Intention To Join Talks With UK Government Over Riots
The recent UK riots has left the role of social media and its regulation undecided among lawmakers and company executives, but one thing is certain; the ability of social media to ‘mobilize’ people has to be looked at seriously. And that is exactly what the UK government is looking to do.
When the riots were at their height, it was speculated (later confirmed), that rioters were using their Blackberry’s messenger service to organize the rioters and make coordinated attacks on property etc. David Cameron was rather swift in his judgment and immediately wanted Blackberry’s messenger service to be shut down. The police, however, felt differently and cited the benefits of social media to effective policing. That message has finally got through because it was confirmed that Twitter is set to join Facebook and Research In Motion (RIM) in talks with the UK government. The talks will be led by British Home Secretary, Theresa May.
The talks will be mainly exploratory, with a view to better understanding how social media can be better police to prevent riots like the sort seen recently. Twitter in particular will be under the spotlight because it’s not the first time the social network has been implicated in the mobilization of people bent on undermining law and order. Whatever the outcome of the talks, one thing is certain, and that is the fact that genuine discontent can never be silenced.
Do you think social media is a big contributor to the mobilization of the rioters in London? Share your thoughts in the comments below.