I was very surprised to learn, from Mashable.com, that 70% of my fellow Britons “completely agree” or “agree somewhat” with blocking social media during times of “civil unrest.” Obviously, the August London riots are still burning in the minds of those who had to endure them.
But what exactly is “civil unrest” and who gets to decide? Would people still be able to protest; rally; lobby; or simply organize themselves publicly?
There is no doubt that social media, like Facebook and Twitter, are powerful mediums for grassroots-style mobilization – Look at Egypt! But should it be something to fear? Is there a darker side to social media that needs to be monitored? Is there an underlying, ominous potential for mass criminal organization? Should Facebook and Twitter be censored?