Recently news from the United Kingdom has focused on the violent rioting on the streets, with hooligans smashing and looting shops and clashing with police. When I saw the images, I was shocked by how such a modern city spiraled out of control. The violence erupted after London’s Tottenham district police shot and killed a man without a reasonable explanation. Youth’s then vented their pent up frustration over society, such as finding it difficult to get into university or find a job. This has led Prime Minister, David Cameron to call into question the role of social media such as Facebook and Twitter in assisting such violent and organized outbreaks.

CNN news reported that,  President David Cameron said “Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organized via social media…Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them.” Now government officials are working with authorities to investigate whether it would be better to stop people communicating via social media when they “know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”

Of course, social media supporters have lashed out at the idea of blocking social media to any degree, as it denies the basic human right of freedom of speech and degrades democracy. Others have argued that Twitter and Facebook have been used for good to organize clean up efforts and call for peace.

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