By Mickey Friedman
August 16, 2011
11 Year Old Alleged Rioter on his way to court in Essex - Photo: Geoff Pugh
Interesting new developments from the riots across the sea. Amidst the calls to curtail the use of social media – and the arrests of a few Facebook posters and Blackberry instant messengers for incitement – comes the case of the Tweeting Bobbie. The rioters took advantage of the new technology to communicate, and it was Tory Member of Parliament Louise Mensch, who urged that instant messaging and tweets be suspended during riots:
“If riot info and fear is spreading by Facebook and Twitter, shut them off for an hour or two, then restore. World won’t implode,” she said.
If you remember, David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, he of the compassionate Conservatism and friend to the Murdochs, just happened to be out of town when the rioters first struck. Along with his Home Secretary. But once back he lost no time casting blame: on moral decay and the morally-decayed, the rioters and their parents, or the lack thereof, and the slacking police, too slow, too permissive, perhaps?
And, then, looking to turn things around, Cameron reached across the Pond to ask one of U.S. of A’s most famous police chiefs, William Bratton, to help solve what clearly had become the U.K.’s new crime problem.
READ MORE >>
July 29, 2011
New evidence of the age-old battle between open and closed, freedom and control, takes us from the U.S.A. to China and home again.
The spirit of Red Crow, and a million permutations of Red Crow – bloggers, tipsters, tweeters – is revealed in the ongoing struggle between a Chinese government that is used to controlling, needs to control the spread of information and a new generation of internet-savy Chinese who believe they have a right to know the real story. Meanwhile, here at home, we face a growing threat to our privacy and our ability to freely use the internet. As you’ll see, Chinese net-users are showing us once again how important the free flow of information is.
Train crash in Wenzhou in Zhejiang province. Photo: Xinhua
The story is about a train crash. Last Saturday night, a high speed train lost power and came to a stop on a railway bridge near Wenzhou in eastern Zhejiang province. According to Michael Wines and Sharon LaFraniere of the New York Times, the struggle for accurate information began with this prophetic message on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo: “After all the wind and storm, what’s going on with the high-speed train? It’s crawling slower than a snail. I hope nothing happens to it.”
Several minutes later, a second bullet rain smashed into it from behind, the impact forcing six cars to derail, including four that fell from the bridge. 40 people died and 191 were injured.
READ MORE >>