Facebook, Twitter, RIM Face Government Questions Again over London Riots

Representatives of Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion have been asked again to appear before a committee of UK MPs to discuss the role social media played in the recent riots in London.

Rioters had used Twitter, Facebook and RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger service to organise themselves and riot across London and other UK cities.

According to The Financial Times, the three tech companies will have to appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee to discuss ‘policing large scale disorder’.

Apart from the representatives of the tech companies, which will be required to give evidence for an hour, several MPs holding key positions in the government will be attending, including the police chiefs from various cities.

Meanwhile, UK home secretary Theresa May, speaking during the Police Superintendents Association Conference, said that she had met with Facebook, Twitter and RIM representatives to discuss how the government and social media service providers can work together to make sure that something like this does not happen in the future.

“There are also lessons about the power of new media, social networking and new technology. When used by criminals the potential for social media to cause harm can be very great,” she said.

“That’s why, with the police and others, I met representatives from Facebook, Twitter, BlackBerry and others to discuss how the government, the police and these companies can work better together,” she added.