[Double Standards!] as British Prime Minister proposes social media ban for rioters.
Let me start by saying that I do NOT condone the riots that are going on at the moment in the UK. People have died needlessly and millions of pounds has been lost in looting and destruction. There is nothing particularly good about what is happening in the UK right now but it’s clearly a sign of some pent-up anger and deeper issues affecting the citizenry of the UK. In many ways, it mirrors the “Arab Spring” of the past year in Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Libya and most recently Syria. However, the objectives of what the rioters in the UK hope to achieve is unclear at best.
Therefore, the proposal by the British Prime Minister David Cameron to ban social media for rioters in the UK comes as a big shock. Yes indeed. This is coming from one of the leaders of the free world who actually supported what has been happening in the countries that felt the Arab Spring and are seeing transformational democratic reforms in the process – social media has been key for this transformation to happen. It is clearly a case of double standards since social media can be used for both good and bad – even in the UK. Social media in itself is NOT a bad thing but rather a tool that can wielded for good or bad goals.
I think there could be a serious backlash if David Cameron actually bans rioters from using social media as this will send the wrong message. As the Arab Spring shows, even if the Internet can be disconnected and social media is essentially cut-off, people will still find a way of organizing themselves and getting things done. Social media is not an end unto itself, it is simply a tool where the users determine the end goal. It’s that simple. David Cameron cannot compromise free speech in UK via social media no matter how bad the circumstances are – meanwhile, the rest of the world is watching.