Tory MP, Louise Mensch, has recently received threats against her children from Anonymous and LulzSec due to her stance on shutting down social media sites during specific crises. The hacking groups are not pleased with the MP because of position of shutting down social media during riots, which is a violation of free speech. The groups also demanded she stop using twitter, which she responded saying “I don’t bully easily, kids. Or in fact at all.” Mrs. Mensch stated that closing down social media sites for a few hours will not disrupt people’s lives, but could help put an end to riots. She thinks it’s no different than closing down train stations during a crisis. This incident has been reported to the police, and she has been tweeting as much as ever or more to show that she will not be bullied by anyone.
The issue whether government should be restricting free speech on social media, even during riots, has points on both sides. The government’s point of view is that it will put an end to people organising crimes. This is a good point, but when does the government act on this considering there’s most likely a number of correspondences per day organizing some type of criminal activities. The other side of the coin is freedom of free speech, and that people should have the ability to say what they want via whatever source they choose at all times. This is all and good, and I’m sure many would agree with this statement as well, but where does one draw the line as to what’s being said isn’t illegal. Depending on the nature of what’s said, or the crime being planned, you can imagine pretty quickly that freedom of speech is quickly thrown out the window. It doesn’t sound like one trumps the other in all cases.
Where to draw the line and how to implement this is something I don’t have an answer to. It looks like it’s a glimpse of what’s to come in the future regarding more social media technology versus freedoms of speech and safety of the public in general.
To conclude, does anyone else find it ironic that these hacking groups threatened her to get off Twitter in the name of defending free speech??? That says something in itself don’t you think…