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Strong Online Reaction to UK’s Threat of Shutting Down Access to Social Networks

Trends & News

Riots Don’t Temper Proposed Loss of Online Rights

Scrambling to deter future violent rioting, the U.K. government is considering shutting down social networks such as Twitter and Facebook during civil disturbances, but the heavy-handed proposal is already drawing a significant amount of strong criticism from the online public.

Social networks and services such as the BlackBerry Messenger application were employed by some rioters to communicate, which lead Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday to propose “whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence.”

The approach is similar to measures taken by governments such as Egypt and Tunisia, both of which sought to restrict Internet access and services to quell anti-government demonstrations, though in the UK such an approach is giving rise to cries of hypocrisy or employing a double standard.

Crimson Hexagon utilized its ForSight platform to rapidly analyze 127,298 mentions on Twitter of the UK Riots from August 8 through August 11.  Of these, 12,534 mentions were found to be irrelevant to the analyzed topic, leaving 114,764 relevant opinions about the UK Riots and Social Media.

A detailed thematic analysis of the opinions present in the online conversation is provided below.  You can click on the image to enlarge it.

Strong Online Reaction to UK’s Threat of Shutting Down Access to Social Networks image Screen shot 2011 08 12 at 9 41 37 AM

We’d like to hear your thoughts on this. What do you think about the UK’s proposed social outage?  Would you be okay with restricted online access to help reduce public rioting?

As always, we’ll continue analyzing the space for interesting trends. In the meantime, feel free contact us at info@crimsonhexagon.com with questions or to learn how your market, brand or product could benefit from leveraging the Crimson Hexagon ForSight™ platform for social media monitoring and analysis. Want to see the Crimson Hexagon platform in action? Request a Live Online Demo.

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