The news is out, PM David Cameron of the UK has suggested that limits should be placed on social media, since its through things such as Blackberry Messenger and Twitter that the rioters are passing messages and strategies to each other.
Now understand this, when Egypt or some oppressive regime does this, its considered heavy-handed and a restriction of democratic rights, when a western nation, such as the UK does it, its for public safety.
Let's talk about the riots, already the spin is being put on it, that its just a bunch of out of control young people who should be looking for jobs instead of looting. Of course that's the second point, its nothing more then an attempt to smash some buildings and make off with some high cost clothing or electronic goods.
Of course, if that's the case, then the solution is not bring in more police or have the military parade through the streets, its to buy and distribute Blu-Ray players. Why riot and smash when the government will give it to you for nothing. While some would comment about the cost, consider this, Players are now under $100.00 and just don't bomb Libya for a couple of days, that should pay for them all.
While the direct cause was police shooting an unarmed man, no doubt it was, as is always the case, brewing for a few years now. It appears this is not a good time to be young, the UK announced austerity measures aimed at young people. This during the time banks around the globe were getting massive amounts of cash to prop them up during the financial crisis. Young people no longer feel a part of the society and have no reason to respect it. With the PM even considering cracking down on social media- which is much like his ancient predecessors cracking down on coffee houses because they were hotbeds of sedition back in the 1700's, they have fewer reasons to feel a part of the nation. If a person feels disengaged more so because the nation has turned their back or declared unofficial war, then you will have disruptions.
I came across this fascinating video interview of Cory Doctorow:
If this is true, then all this is to be expected, you cannot oppress a group for too long without them rising up and responding in similar manner.
As the global financial debacle continues and with conventional wisdom is to basically ignore the big issues and pass them on to the next generation, while all along pounding that same generation in the present, then this unrest are going to continue a very long time.
Of course the smart move is to throw out families onto the streets if any member is involved in breaking the law, smart idea that, encouraged the already dispossessed feel like they are totally being screwed over by the government.
Closing down Twitter isn't going to solve anything, because Twitter is not the problem, its short sighted governments and politicians making sure their friends are taken care of, while the rest can go pound some sand.