Recent London riots have brought out a startling fact that social media can play The Good, The Bad and The Ugly depending upon the situation and circumstances it is used under.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, having considered this has revealed his plans to put in new controls to tackle the so called ‘menace’ of social media and the part it plays in events such as the London Riots.
Cameron, while addressing MPs on Thursday, said that “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.”
The plans as of now are seemingly not elaborate at this stage and technical details would need to be worked upon before such controls can be put in place in an effective manner and the way in which ‘Privacy of citizens’ is not invaded.
"When people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them," Cameron added.
Representatives from Social networking site Facebook and microblogging site Twitter along with those from RIM are going to meet home secretary Theresa May next week and discussions on the recent indirect part played by these entities in the London Riots and effective controls that may be put in place would be worked out.
But, one thing is clear whatever measures or controls are put in place, the government would definitely have to keep in mind that there is always a fine line between autocracies and democracies and the measures that have been put in place in China, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are far from practical in the UK.