Social media and censorship
England’s prime minister has said he’s considering blocking Facebook and Twitter to help contain and prevent riots. Blackberry’s BBM instant messaging service also has come under fire since organizers also used that service to help plan the mayhem. What’s next: banned Gmail accounts?
Locally, communities like Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights are dedicating police resources to monitor social networks to prevent violent flash mobs, which is a smarter approach, in my opinion. Yes, social networks and other technology partners can help to screen for offensive posts, but restricting access seems to draw parallels to the approach of Chinese and Middle Eastern governments. Monitoring, not censorship, should be used to prevent riots organized via social networks.