Policing in Social Media
Another riot-related thread Smile

Social media has become a hot and much contested topic recently, as UK prime minister David Cameron experienced when critics tore him to shreds over a statement where he expressed his desire to give government and police power to shut down social media during emergencies as a peacekeeping measure. Yikes. Confused (quick edit: My bad. Cameron meant, specifically, that they were examining if its possible to block suspected criminals from posting messages on social media sites. Still, the point stands.)

It's unlikely that would happen of course, but now law enforcers seem to be leaning towards a different approach: using social media to monitor and clamp down on troublemakers.

Men Sentenced to 4 Years for Inciting Riots on Facebook

Police averted riots at Olympic sites and Oxford Street by monitoring Twitter

What do you think? Would the UK be safer with cops tracking conversations in online social media, and making arrests from it? Does this violate people's civil rights (akin to bugging and phonetapping) or is it all fair game?
PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
The question long pre-dates even the telephone. Either, those in authority have the power to crush protest-revolutionary/terrorist groups, or they do not. If they do, there is historical evidence that many oppressive laws would never have been repealed; if they do not, I am likely to have a brick or two through my window, or worse (and I have had a brick through my window, years ago - it is not good.)

Is it right for police to use informants? Does that not curb civil liberties? Who knows what some nasty person may say about me --or you? People have been demanding that policing be 'intelligence-led', rather than relying on gut feeling or stop and search. Where might intelligence come from, in a way which does not, to some degree, abridge civil rights?

We have a good police force, by and large -- but still, it needs a long-term strategy to improve the quality of recruit, and to monitor their progress so that a bright, idealistic person does not become immersed in 'canteen culture'. If the police is trustworthy, many curtailments of liberty become theoretical. As of now, I think that having coppers try and find crims on Twtter or Blackberries is preferable to ordinary people deciding that they need to obtain illegal firearms. At least, that is what I think that I think.
I agree with that, i think... of course an ideal situation is impossible, and the truth is any system can theoretically be open to abuse because nothing in life is perfect but people in authority have to be given the wiggle room to act with their better judgment for tough situations. After all, social media is a public forum, it's virtual but still technically a public place... police monitoring it might not be so different from cops walking a beat and patrolling the neighborhood, keeping a look-out for any trouble.

PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
personally i don't see anything wrong with them keep an eye out for lawbreakers. social media is there for anyone to use, even police officers. the two idiots in question posted on a public interface. did they think some good minded citizen wouldn't point such stupidity out to the police.

the police openly admit they thought of closing the sites down but resisted because of the law. and rightly so. instead they did the next best thing. they read public pages of the net, they didn't actually do anything wrong or underhand. as for the 4 year sentence they got, fuck em. they got it for inciting people to riot. (amusingly non took place) what they should have been charged with was conspiracy to riot or loot, i think conspiracy carries a larger sentence, if you conspire to commit murder you can get 14 years to life i think, 4 years is good enough. truth be told, the public should be aware as whats going on on media sites and inform the police. it actually the moral thing to do, if it were two guys talking about how they were going to molest a child the public would be in uproar. jmo

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