The government is considering whether social media services should be shut off at times of disorder, the British prime minister, David Cameron, has told parliament.
Cameron’s comments were made in a speech to the House of Commons on Thursday. Parliament has been recalled from its summer recess to respond to the violent disorder that has affected London, Manchester, Birmingham and other UK cities.
“Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media,” Cameron said. “Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill.”
Well, true, things would be much easier without that pesky “free flow of information.” Read more
On January 29th, while the entire world was watching the historic events in Egypt, this Twitter exchange took place:
WH Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer (official account): @dcfooter on the road is tough, but Nova is very beatable
Pfeiffer: Tough game on the road, but Nova is very beatable if the guards shoot well RT@pfeiffer44 gtown-nova. What’s your confidence level?
Nic Lott: @pfeiffer44 How about more tweets on issues of the nation and world since this is a WH twitter account. Turmoil in Middle East. Not sports.
After reading the back and forth, I gave credit to Pfeiffer for responding in real time and quickly pivoting to Egypt.
Similarly, on the White House Twitter account (@WhiteHouse), three wildly incongruous tweets appeared on February 2 as Egypt exploded:
I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate.
Kenneth Cole, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer
I asked fellow Twitter users how they felt about the fluffy White House tweets. Some said it was meaningless and critics should lighten up, others disagreed:
jentwats it’s disgusting
eclexia Utter callous stupidity
jbuford Light-hearted tweets coming from the WH are jarring and incongruous
This raises a much larger question – one of the most profound and intractable problems we face as humans, namely, how to balance pleasure with sensitivity to others’ pain, how to enjoy life in the midst of unfathomable sadness. There is no easy answer. It’s the perennial problem of how much to give of ourselves and how often. Should we plunk down $100 on a nice meal when kids are starving around the world? How about having a $20 meal and donating the rest to feed several families? Should we laugh and joke and smile at the exact moment that little girls are being raped with broken bottles? Is it fair? Is it right?
Our general impulse is to say that it’s a matter of degree, that there is infinite anguish on this planet and we can’t survive if we internalize all of it, nor can we spend all our time suffering over the suffering of others. If we sacrifice and help to a reasonable extent it’s the most we can do. Perhaps. Perhaps not.
As I said, there’s no answer. We each find our own equilibrium. Some do nothing, some dedicate their entire lives to the cause of helping others in need.
In the end, at the very least, we should appreciate the pain that’s all around us. Even if we don’t devote every waking moment to alleviating it, let’s not exacerbate it by turning a blind eye.
- The Essential Guide to Anti-Hillary Themes
- The pervasive oppression of women and girls
- Threats to justice everywhere
- Are we a moral society?
- The torture of disabled children in American schools
- Patton Oswalt, I’m sorry you’re so wrong about Boston
- “No more hurting people”
- Tobacco kills: grim stats on smoking
- The top ten list you shouldn’t be reading
- Climate change compendium: tracking our planetary calamity [UPDATED]
- Is the progressive blogosphere dead?
- Fearing death and facing death
- Climate change is here
- The Global War on Women
- The black curtain
- Fresh confrontations raise tempers on ground in Crimea
- Malaysia Airlines plane missing at sea off Vietnam, presumed crashed
- U.S. job growth offers upbeat sign for weather-beaten economy
- China draws 'red line' on North Korea, says won't allow war on peninsula
- Republicans gain momentum in close fight for U.S. Senate
- After Hours of Searching, No Sign of Malaysia Airlines Plane
- China Won’t Yield on Disputes With Neighbors, Foreign Minister Says
- Behind Clash Between C.I.A. and Congress, a Secret Report on Interrogations
- For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea
- Malaysia Airlines Loses Contact With Jet Carrying Over 200
- Deliveries may be delayed Boeing confirms inspections of cracks in B787 wings - eTurboNews
- Malaysia Airlines loses contact with jet carrying 239 people - CNN
- Recall at GM Is Early Trial for New Chief - New York Times
- US economy adds 175000 jobs in February despite harsh weather - Los Angeles Times
- For Dorian Nakamoto, bitcoin article brings denials, intrigue - Los Angeles Times
- UPDATE 1-California bill would ban orca shows, captive breeding - Reuters
- T-Mobile to double customers' unthrottled 4G LTE data for free - Los Angeles Times
- T-Mobile Raises Price for Unlimited Plan - Wall Street Journal
- Robotics could be the next frontier for Android - The Droid Guy
- TV Picks: '@midnight,' 'Cosmos' times two - Los Angeles Times
- Small Marijuana Stores Being Ran Out As More States Legalize - Headlines & Global News
- Health Department Investigates Measles Outbreak in Northern Manhattan, Bronx - NY1
- CDC: Child Care Flu Vaccination Requirements Seem Effective - Doctors Lounge
- Tampa family sickened by LSD-tainted beef - CBS News
- UPDATE 3-US FDA probes cognitive impact of new cholesterol drugs - Reuters
- Santos fined after coal seam gas project contaminates aquifer 'with uranium'
- Sustainable farming dilemma: should we be helping the chicken or fixing the egg?
- Value from sewage? A new technology cleans up waste water
- Country diary: Sandy, Bedfordshire: The raven's wings lifted and fell, like a working bellows
- Supermarkets' milk price war leaves a sour taste for dairy farmers
- UN-backed initiative enables Somalis to harvest food from local farmers
- Weather, increased demand pushes global food prices to highest level in months
- Pro-family farming policies key in anti-hunger fight, UN officials tell Budapest expo
- Boosting green transition will improve food security, UN says on Africa Environment Day
- UN health agency calls on countries to invest in prevention and care for hearing loss
- UN official denounces restrictions on political rights ahead of Burundian polls
- UN human rights experts urge probe into recent violence amid Venezuelan protests
- Independent UN expert welcomes electoral reform agreement in Cambodia
- Attacks, sieges of civilian areas leading to mass casualties, starvation in Syria - UN panel
- UN Human Rights Council opens with calls to protect, support civil society activism
- Security Council sets out steps to combat violations against children in armed conflict
- FEATURE: In report to UN, record number of women winning seats in Parliaments
- Ahead of International Women's Day, UN asks men to ‘stand up and deliver' on human rights for all
- UN unveils global campaign to end use of child soldiers in Government forces by 2016
- UN health agency issues guidance on access to contraceptive information, services