Tag Archives: London Riots

Why Internet Censorship May Become More Strict in the UK

The London Riots:

In August 2011, a number of riots took place across the capital which were mainly started over the death of Mark Duggen, who was shot dead by police when he was apparently unarmed. Over the next few days, some parts of London were left in a state of chaos and destruction with many buildings being looted or becoming victims of arson attacks. These events were mainly believed to have been started and organised in mass numbers due to social networking sites.

On the 16th August 2011, two men were jailed for four years each for attempting to encourage other people to become involved in the rioting, which had now spread to other parts of the country. The two men created the page: ‘Smash down in Northwich Town’ which attempted to invite people to riot between the 7-10pm on the 10th August. The¬†Merseyside and Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service stated that the two men to: “…gain widespread support in order to replicate similar criminality.”

However, during the aftermath of the events, social media sites were put to good use:

The Internet Society’s Global Internet User Survey

In 2012, over 10,000 people from the around the globe were asked a series of questions relating to the use of the internet. Here are some of the global results relating to internet censorship:

  • 30%¬†of users agreed strongly that censorship currently exists on the Internet.
  • More than 70% of users agreed or agreed strongly that more government involvement would make the Internet too controlled or would limit content they can access.
  • More than two-thirds agreed or agreed strongly that increased government control would inhibit the growth of the Internet and/or stifle innovation.
  • 86% agreed or agreed strongly that freedom of expression should be guaranteed.
  • 60% of respondents agreed or agreed strongly that Internet access has contributed significantly to civil action and political awareness in their country.

These results show that their is a strong togetherness from people around the world that internet censorship is considered as a threatening aspect to how and what people can publish on the internet due to a small minority of people that abuse this right of freedom of speech. The final statistic in particular relates very much to the London riots, as the use of the internet played a pivotal part in looting and arson of buildings and companies in London.