UK Gov Wants Twitter, Facebook, BBM to Take Responsibility in Riot Prevention

Posted Aug 11, 2011

The UK Parliament is currently on summer recess, but not for long; Prime Minister David Cameron ended his vacation early and is calling the Parliament back, to return to Downing Street and do damage control after a week of rioting across the country. The Next Web reports that Home Secretary Theresa May will meet with representatives from Facebook, Twitter and RIM to discuss how social networking services are obligated to react in situations like the recent rioting. RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger was identified early in the riots as a tool used to incite and spread word of the criminal activity. Facebook and Twitter also played contributing roles to the mayhem, though Twitter was more crucial to the clean up effort.

Some, including Tottenham’s Labour MP David Lammy, have suggested stopgap measures to suspend BBM service when it appears to be aiding widespread dangerous activity. The talks between the UK government and the social networking services will clearly be focused on issues of privacy and free speech as they relate to public safety.