Shop Talk - August 16
Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss whether governments should block social networking sites and messaging services during periods of civil unrest.
United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron said the government considered such an action during recent rioting. Police investigated whether Facebook, Twitter, and BlackBerry Messenger were used to encourage rioting.
The panelists disagree with the idea of shutting down sites. People trying to spread a message will find a way to communicate, whether it's via word-of-mouth, posters, or social media.
The panelists point out that shutting down social media sites does not get to the root of the problem, whether it be social injustice or simply pure idiocy.
They also point out that, for example, Macomb police used Facebook to help identify lawbreakers during last spring's Wheeler Street block party. That tool would not have been at their disposal had they shut down Facebook sites before, during, or after the party.