Thursday, August 11, 2011

Britain And Hypocracy

Britain has been rocked by rioting in the past few nights, kicked off by a police shooting. The problem is that these aren't peaceful protests. They are violent riots. Storefronts broken into and vandalized, cars stopped and burned. And it's showing no sign of dissipating yet.

Today rumors spread of a possibly shutdown of access to Twitter and other social networking sites in Britain if the riots continue. The justification is that the networking sites have been used to help organize the riots. Fine, it's logical to want to cut off the tools that are helping to cause them. The problem is that Britain seems to be forgetting their own comments about just such censoring last Spring.

During the protests in Egypt last spring, Mubarak cut off access to social networking sites because they were being used to plan out the protests. Most first world counties, including Britain, condemned the shut down. And here Britain is considering doing the exact same thing. Some could argue that peaceful protests are different than violent rioting, and they'd be right. But in the court of public perception, the reason for the censorship doesn't matter. If they do this, it's going to backfire.

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