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Should Twitter And Facebook Be Held Responsible For Riots In England?

Police walk past a burning car during riots in Birmingham City Centre on August 8, 2011 in Birmingham, England. After three nights of rioting and looting in and around London, the chaos is starting to spread to other cities around Britain. England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

We’ve all heard about and seen the video of the rioting in London and other towns in England. As we learn more about them, the role of social media like Twitter and Facebook moves more and more to center stage.

Are these giants of social media partially responsible for the riots in England?

The Guardian is now reporting that David Cameron, England’s Prime Minister wants social media to step up and take more responsibility for content posted on their networks that allowed hundreds of individuals to coordinate their attacks.

According to the article in The Guardian a Facebook spokeswoman said:

“We look forward to meeting with the home secretary to explain the measures we have been taking to ensure that Facebook is a safe and positive platform for people in the UK at this challenging time.”

While the social unrest and rioting are terrible, can the social networks like Twitter and Facebook be held responsible for how people use them? Should they be scanning everyone’s posts to see if it might be a cue to gather at one location and cause a ruckus? CAN they even do that?

I’d love to know what you think, take my Online Survey Question over the weekend, “Do you think social media like Twitter and Facebook should be held responsible for how they were used in the riots in England?”

Click here to read the full article in The Guardian.

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Dave D.

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