Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed


10:40 am - July 15th 2010

by Jim Jepps    


      Share on Tumblr

David Cameron took a swipe at Facebook users yesterday when he spoke of his disgust that people had been expressing admiration for the wife beating, misogynist murderer Raoul Moat.

I’m all for attempting to understand Moat’s motives but some have bordered on sympathy.

Empathising with a perpetrator of domestic violence without any but the most cursory nod towards the victims of that violence is to place the importance of Moat’s feelings above those of his victims.

However, Cameron has asked Facebook to remove Moat fan pages where tens of thousands have signed up to say what a “legend” the killer was.

Facebook, I think rightly, refused to take the page down – although their inconsistency on what they censor is frustrating. You can’t ban these ideas, you need to argue against them.

The fact that large numbers of men and women are leaving supportive messages on the page speaks to something that many people never see spoken out loud, and it’s an opportunity to look facts in the face. A few examples of posts left by women on the site include;

  • love got the better of you moat, RIP x
  • His head went, simple as that, anyway he had a fucked up childhood, his baby mom was messing with his brain while he was serving a sentence. them man up newcastle there heads are all fucked, beer drinking steriod taking dudes. Never the less rest in peace Raoul Moat I don’t think you are a legend, but a man whos’ heart is torn and whose integrity was no more, R.I.P.
  • RIP, guess it all just got too much for you man :/

The fact that people can say things like “love got the better of you” in response to Moat’s killing spree is a product of the way the media focused its attention on an “exciting” movie-like narrative without once giving the thing its proper name – domestic violence.

If you’re ex-partner beats you or tries to kill you it is not because “love got the better” of him but because he’s a violent misogynist. By turning Moat into the central figure of an exciting man-hunt media circus the press inevitably gave him a more glamorous appearance than he deserved.

While there may be lessons to learned it is the extraordinary behaviour of the media that needs to be under the spotlight. Hyping up a sad little man into a hero while cavalierly putting his life, the lives of the public and the police in danger, is beyond excuses.

But back to Facebook for a moment – the reason it works is by harnessing the enthusiasms of the general public. Cameron is opposed to that when they express ideas he doesn’t like, but this comes just a week after Cameron hoped to harness the site for his cuts agenda.

The fact is you can’t have it both ways. If you want to use social networking you have to understand that it works because it is unfettered, and if you start banning groups because you think they’re distasteful – guess what – some people might find laying off public sector workers a downright disgrace.

See also Obsolete, Organized Rage, Green Reading, Doc Richard, The F Word, Richard Osley, Martin.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Jim Jepps is a socialist in the Green Party and formerly blogged at the Daily (Maybe). He currently writes on London politics, community and the environment at Big Smoke.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Civil liberties ,Media

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


Compare the sympathy for Moat with some of the sentiments expressed towards the killers of James Bulger.

“Jon Venables needs hanging”
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=345039512110&ref=search

“Castrate the bastard with a rusty blunt knife!!!” <- 3 people like that
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=350866678665&v=wall&ref=search

Kneejerk, highly reactionary reactions on FB are nothing new.

Cameron needs to start reading some of the stuff appearing on his own Spending Challenge website before he complains about Facebook.

I think Cameron needs to learn the first rule of the internet: Don’t feed the trolls.

I’m a Facebook user but I never heard of these groups before he opened his mouth.

Free speech is the bedrock of democracy, meaning we have to accept that some people will use Facebook and other social media to praise people like Raoul Moat. It’s not a new phenomenon, in the eighteenth century people sang ballads about highwaymen in the process romanticizing the activities of violent thugs.

There is though plenty about the Moat case that should make us all uncomfortable, people seem to have decided that his crimes were just another symptom of his being ‘troubled’ and that therefore he should be able to sidestep much of the blame.

This seems to be a consequence of the ‘buy it now because you’re worth it’ culture that has been with us since the eighties, don’t think about the consequences of your actions; just do it and worry later. Look where that’s left us, working like slaves to buy ever more stuff that fails to make us happy and spending our spare time watching fatuous reality television.

If we don’t start a real debate about the sort of society we want to live in, not only will there be more emotional and moral vacuums like Raoul Moat on our streets some of them might pick up a loud hailer and enter politics; then we’ll really be in trouble.

To my mind the questions surrounding Moat are less important than the fact that we now have a prime minister who seems to think it’s his job to decide what people do or do not say on facebook.

As others have said, Cameron seems to have an extremely unhealthy attitutde towards free speech and the principle of government not interfering with it. One of his MPs criticised the facebook page for containing “anti-police” comments and Cameron actually agreed, saying it was a great concern.

By contrast, in Sweden when the Israeli government and ambassador and US politicians called on the centre-right prime minister (Cameron’s mate, Reinfeldt) to condemn an article published by the centre-left tabloid Aftonbladet reporting allegations about Israeli organ-trafficking, Reinfeldt responded by repeatedly refusing to condemn Aftonbladet, saying that it was fundamentally wrong for the government to condemn the press’s freedom of expression (see http://www.thelocal.se/22230/20090922/ ).

If Cameron likes censoring the Internet so much, why doesn’t he move to China?

8. Shatterface

Censorship is wrong but – as some of us have pointed out many times here – there’s a difference between defending someone’s right to free speech and supporting their cause.

Those who romanticise this thug are idiots and should be told so – and that goes for those trying to blame the ‘buy it now’ culture of the 80s too. This is *fuck all* to do with consumerism, this is about violence and misogyny. Attempting to make cheep political capital out of this is as deplorable from the Left as it is from the Right.

It’s really interesting, isn’t it, the comparison between the public (or some of it anyway) reaction to Moat and the reaction to the Bulger killers (and I bet some of them are the very same people).

But no, the facebook pages shouldn’t be censored, just those of us with sense should counter these moronic arguments.

It’s a good point that Cameron, whilst condemning the Facebook page on Moat, didn’t see fit to criticise the mainstream media for their B-movie take on the story and the way they created the whole Moat as hero/anti-hero narrative.

Also, Cameron seemed to arrogantly assume that Facebook would be abashed and do as he told them – perhaps because he’s so used to a largely compliant UK media. No doubt he calculated that what passed as his macho performance in the Commons would have the likes of the Guardian’s Martin Kettle swooning in breathless admiration.

However, he didn’t seem to take into account that Facebook are based in the US and abide by the principles of the First Amendment (although the freedom to write rubbish on FB is quite a long way from the ideals that its authors had in mind). They were absolutely right to rebuff Cameron over their editorial policy.

The Americans see Cameron as more people here should see him if they weren’t so mesmerised by his background and his media fanbase – a total lightweight.

Before everyone gets too frothy about this, it might be worth noting this:

Downing St didn’t ask Facebook to take down the Raoul Moat fan club page. Instead a phone call was made to inform the company that it had this unpleasant material on its site

http://blogs.ft.com/westminster/2010/07/david-cameron-im-not-a-censor/

The Americans see Cameron…

What, all of them?

13. Richard P

“Downing St didn’t ask Facebook to take down the Raoul Moat fan club page. Instead a phone call was made to inform the company that it had this unpleasant material on its site”

This seems suspicious to me. Why should government be in the business of deciding which exercises of free speech are pleasant and which are unpleasant, and then of informing companies about them? And why on earth wasn’t the original Tory MP capable of phoning facebook himself, if he thought it was something facebook needed to know? Why would they need to know, anyway, unless there was some sort of implication that they might want to consider censoring?

At the very least, there was a desire to give a misleading impression to the tabloids for publicity reasons.

10 Downing St. A man sits, slumped on his desk.
A phone rings.

*ring ring, ring ring*

“Hello, David Cameron?”
“Ah, hi Dave. This is the interwebs.”
“Oh, right, erm, hi there.”
“Just to let you know, there’s some very distasteful stuff out there in cyberland; especially in facebook groups.”
“Oh, wow, I had no idea.”
“Yeh it’s pretty bad. It might offend people. You need to make a stand saying you don’t agree with this sort of thing. Not too heavy though, freedom of speech and all that.”
“Right. Ok then. Thanks for the call.”
“No problem…”
“Bye, then.”
“…one more thing, it’s about 4chan…”
“*sigh*”

MORAL: don’t feed the trolls.

@10

although the freedom to write rubbish on FB is quite a long way from the ideals that its authors had in mind

Actually, it’s (in a very roundabout way) exactly what they had in mind. The freedom to offend and have opinions that are disagreeable and unpalatable is far more important than the freedom to follow the status quo; I think it was Mill in ‘On Liberty’ who said that contrary opinions are important because they lead to the discovery of truth through testing our own usual beliefs. Something like that anyway.

16. Shatterface

A proportionate response to the Moat is the Nation’s Wife Beater of Our Hearts (or whatever) site would be to set up a Facebook page for people who think Moat’s supporters are dicks.

I couldn’t be arsed with it though.

So, do free speech fundies object to Facebook’s policy on banning groups which promote racism and violence?

I guess it could be argued that the ‘R.I.P Raoul Moat’ page , set up in homage of a murderer and containing all sorts of comments proclaiming the virtues of “slapping bitches” and “shooting pigs”, was in violation of Facebook’s clearly stated policy.

18. roberto c

The Page has been deleted – either by its creator, or by Facebook.

Don’t you see the irony in writing a piece about the page which you either don’t like or don’t agree with indicating another purpose which is disagreed with?

As this is the case and you have opened up the dialogue do we look at the circumstances that brought this whole sorry state to bear? Were the police warned about how violent this guy was? Was his missus shagging behind his back? Did he really have such a troubled life? Did he (Moat) ask for psychiatric help?

You may dislike the guy for what he did. That is quite obvious to me – but we must ask what about before he pulled the trigger? Who cared then? Were the courts willing to get him the help he needed or simply let him out knowing how bad his life was and how violent he was know the circumstances that the nation didn’t before he killed someone.

Is it not that you are condemning a man who did lunatic acts only because you now know a bit about him? How many more Moat’s are there who are simmering under the wire unknown because the media just haven’t decided to write about them yet? Is it because Moat came from a very working-class area/background?

Why is it that the PM says what he does in this case when there is a case still awaiting someone to be charges – Ian Tomlinson?

I think it’s interesting that so many people (free speech fundies I think someone else called them) come down on the side of agreeing with facebook’s decision not to delete the page. Presumably not many people would insist that there is an unfettered right for people to post absolutely anything they want on such sites.

Given that, the people hosting such social networking sites need to make a judgement call as to whether given pages are acceptable or not. Of course, in the absence of particular legislation their judgement calls may not always be right. However seems like a no-brainer to me that a page glorifying Moat is wrong on just so many levels.

Rushing to the barricades of total freedom might make you feel holier than thou in a rarefied, Voltaire-ish sense of defending the rights of those you totally disagree with… but it also makes you look like an unfeeling, Red Top reading knuckle dragger whose moral compass has been skewed by over exposure to too much reality television.

So, do free speech fundies object to Facebook’s policy on banning groups which promote racism and violence?

I would say that I am one of those free speech fundies. But as one I have to say that if I am in a pub, say, and the landlord of that pub tells me he is not ready to accept my left-wing speech and he owns the place I have to think about what his rules are because that is his place – he should lay down the rules, no? Shouting fire in a cinema always comes to mind.

Facebook is a commercial business and it does have a terms of use etc – as a person who does believe in free speech I do think that you have to weigh up what it is you want to say against where you want to say it. If it is an open and free forum then why are you censored? If not then I think the way forward is to use some common sense.

22. Richard P

I believe Facebook has a right to have certain terms and conditions and to enforce those. I can’t say whether the page in question breached them – I have no idea – nor does that question interest me particularly.

What interests me is that Cameron thinks it’s part of the role of government to drop hints to private companies that they ought to considering censoring or removing particular material. Unless the material in question is illegal, this is simply not what government should be doing – it comes across as an attack on free speech. And even if the material is illegal, it should really be the police making these phone calls, not 10 Downing Street, not the executive.

The thing is, if Cameron is going to wade into every distasteful thing that someone in the media says, why has he said fuck-all about the Express and its current racist headlines? “ONE IN 5 BRITAINS WILL BE ETHNICS” being the latest in a long-running hatefest against anyone without white skin.
Personally I find the incitement of race hate more disturbing than a fa$ebuck group started by some bored trolls.

Oh and @16 is spot on.

@18

It was removed by its creator. Facebook like the publicity…

26. the a&e charge nurse

Perhaps we should send “Gazza” round to No: 10 with a few tins, and chicken drumstick?
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tJ0HLuMF_H8/SmbKH3v3L3I/AAAAAAAAA8E/C5oTKlrRZp4/s400/gazzabreasts.jpg

I don’t agree with state censorship ever. But I don’t think murderers like Moat should be given any publicity, even negative. This Facebook page, it fills me with despair that anyone would sign up to it and eulogise about him. I feel like making a note of all the names of the people that do, just in case I meet one of them and can tell its not cool. Its close to certain that there will be a copycat. If there is every person who signs up to that stupid page will be in a small way complicit in those killings in my eyes.

Anyway from a constructive point of view, I think the answer is to boycott any sites or papers or news programmes that cover these killings. However I’m not optimistic organising one would work as people (including me) really love reading about killings and killers. And Facebook is just everywhere. How would I organise a boycott? Create a facebook page “Lets boycott Facebook for hosting murderer’s fan pages”. Oh, well.

@27

I don’t think murderers like Moat should be given any publicity, even negative […] people (including me) really love reading about killings and killers.

I can see why you’re confused. But no publicity? At all? Remember, Moat was armed and on the run. What were the police supposed to do, tell people to stay indoors but not say why..? I’ll agree that the press sensationalised the whole episode, and that people who signed up for that group are utter tools, but that’s about it. No need for the PM to get involved. There are groups that deny the Holocaust, I saw last year a few horrible ones about Baby P & Madeline McCann.. facebook has it’s own rulebook (as do ISPs – normally forbidding hate speech etc) as it is a private business but again, the Government should not have had any say whatsoever in this. It shows a dangerously authoritarian streak from this apparently liberal government (like when they told BBC Question Time which guests they should and shouldn’t have a month or so ago).

The thing is, if Cameron is going to wade into every distasteful thing that someone in the media says, why has he said fuck-all about the Express and its current racist headlines? “ONE IN 5 BRITAINS WILL BE ETHNICS” being the latest in a long-running hatefest against anyone without white skin.

Jebus, Cameron was asked a question about the page and he responded to it:

“As far as I can see, it is absolutely clear that Raoul Moat was a callous murderer-full stop, end of story-and I cannot understand any wave, however small, of public sympathy for this man. There should be sympathy for his victims, and for the havoc he wreaked in that community; there should be no sympathy for him.”

What should he have said?

Conservatives don’t like something so they want to ban it.

Isn’t that just Right wing political correctness?

As usual, tories hide behind terms like decency and standards and all that bollocks, but when you get right down to it, it shows the Right is just as politically correct as those it always attacks.

I’m sure LittleJohn will be telling us it is political correctness gone mad………Oh wait….

@30

Erm, well this Tory-hating leftie isn’t going to criticise Cameron for saying the obvious – that Moat was a thug and people who praise him are a bit sick.

A tyrannical clampdown on free speech would involve locking up the people who posted pro-cop killing and pro-wife beating comments on the Facebook; not expressing disagreement with them.

Facebook is under no obligation to provide a platform for these ridiculous views and there’s nowt wrong with the Prime Minister responding to a question on the subject.

I’ve expressed my own thoughts on the Raoul Moat Fan club over here.

Personally I don’t think the Raoul Moat Facebook groups should be banned, if only because I’ve had enormous fun trolling them.

I mean personal publicity, his life story, tapes of him talking etc. Of course you inform the public if there is any danger. But the coverage of mass killings always goes far beyond that. Especially after the killer has been apprehended or killed.

I don’t think Cameron and co should have got involved either, I am sure other people had already made complaints about the Facebook page. And again it adds to the publicity. I think a better answer to the PMQ’s question would have been , “I don’t want to discuss it, it just gives them even more publicity.” The statement calling Moat a “callous murderer” was more about Cameron wanting to make political capital for himself out of a national story than authoritarianism, and I think that is what he should be criticised for.

@29

It’s not what he said in PMQs that’s bothersome, it’s that Downing St took it upon themselves to ring up Facebook and complain. And that they don’t do the same with any other media outlet expressing foul views (the Daily Mail’s pro-eugenics stance, for example, or more recently the Express headlines I linked to earlier). I believe it’s what freedom of speech campaigners call a “chilling effect” – using the power vested in the position of PM to clamp down on debate and argument.

35. Richard P

“What should he have said?”

The question that Cameron was asked made no reference to any offensive remarks contained on the page, unless you count its title. Instead the questioner stressed the fact that the page contained “anti-police” remarks – supposedly this was meant to be something outrageous. The question asked whether Cameron would consider having a conference call with the Facebook boss about it, and ended “Can the Prime Minister have a conversation with Mark Zuckerberg about removing this group?”

To which Cameron replied that his friend “makes a very good point”, seeming to imply that anti-police sentiments ought to be censored and that it was a legitimate idea in a democracy for a political leader to phone a media boss and ask him to censor material which (seemingly) no one has alleged is illegal.

And we know that later Cameron or one of his aides did in fact go on to make a phone call and draw the material to Facebook’s attention – as though this were somehow necessary or appropriate – and yet claimed the following day that they weren’t encouraging Facebook to censor anything!

It is simply not appropriate in a democracy for a prime minister to drop hints to websites about which legal exercises of free speech they should and shouldn’t choose to suppress.

“Facebook is under no obligation to provide a platform for these ridiculous views”

And

Facebook is under no obligation to take down these ridiculous views.

Once you get into tory back benchers deciding what face book can, and can’t have, then you have govt censorship.

” “anti-police” remarks – supposedly this was meant to be something outrageous.”

Don’t remember the tories having a problem attacking the police when they arrested shadow home office minister , Mr Green and held him in a police station for 9 hours without trial. Oh no, we are living in a police state cried the tory faithful.

Is it any wonder that the police make so many cock ups when you have moronic tory backbenchers who want to ban any criticisms of them.

Its an interesting insight into how angry and alienated part of our population are. But enough about the tories.

Moat is a kind of Rambo figure to part of our society that cannot articulate the anger and alienation they feel. It would be wrong to glibly write them off as a kind of lumpenproletariat. There’s probably a big crossover with BNP / EDL sympathisers. The Left needs to make an effort to understand such groups and how they influence their wider communities.

Managed to tune out the sally bot for some time but this is hilarious:

Once you get into tory back benchers deciding what face book can, and can’t have, then you have govt censorship.

We’ve had censorship for centuries!

Richard P, I think people are reading more into what Cameron said (and have made stuff up about what he did say) and what a Downing Street “aide” supposedly did than seems reasonable.

Here’s something conspirators appear to have missed in all this fuss about something genuinely dreadful that a PM probably did do, given his track record.

uk troll………”We’ve had censorship for centuries!”

Can’t you just smell the brown shirt.

Suddenly we have a tory govt and the trolls want govt control. Priceless.

42. Chaise Guevara

You’re right, Sally. “We’ve had censorship for centuries!” means exactly the same thing as “I want government censorship and I like Hitler”. Another well-thought out and pertinent comment.

43. Matt Munro

@ 38 “Moat is a kind of Rambo figure to part of our society that cannot articulate the anger and alienation they feel. It would be wrong to glibly write them off as a kind of lumpenproletariat.”

George Galloway was just saying this on Question Time. I agree with him, they represent a class of mostly young white working class men who are angry with government, the police and mainstream society

@ 41 Sally, as an ersatz “tory troll” can I point out that I don’t think the government should have a view on, let alone the power to censor, facebook.

44. Richard W

Hilarious to watch the ‘ small government ‘ advocates get all big government over things they do not like.

“What should he have said?”

Err, I have no opinion on the matter.

@ Gallen

I think it’s interesting that so many people (free speech fundies I think someone else called them) come down on the side of agreeing with facebook’s decision not to delete the page. Presumably not many people would insist that there is an unfettered right for people to post absolutely anything they want on such sites.

I would.

Will the Prime Minister consider having another conference call with Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, whose site is currently hosting the group “RIP Raoul Moat”, where a whole host of anti-police statements are posted? Can the Prime Minister have a conversation with Mark Zuckerberg about removing this group?

The correct answer was

“Certainly not. That’s none of my fucking business, you tosser.”

From what I’ve heard of Zuckerberg, his response was most likely “who the fuck are you, bitch?”

@45 pagar

The fact that you would defend the right of people to post or say absolutely anything proves nothing…. other than the fact that you are one of (I would suspect) “the few”.

I think your standpoint is extreme, and unlike Voltaire I wouldn’t defend your right to say so etc. … perhaps that makes me illiberal or a bad person, or perhaps it just means you feel such absolute freedom is more important than any other takes on situations like these.

sally

uk troll………”We’ve had censorship for centuries!”

Can’t you just smell the brown shirt.

Suddenly we have a tory govt and the trolls want govt control. priceless.

Does sally have RSI in its knees?

From what I’ve heard of Zuckerberg, his response was most likely “who the fuck are you, bitch?”

Short memory if so, given they had a meeting last week

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1721751/zuckerberg-loves-uk-government-apis.

Tim J, meet Joke. Joke, meet Tim J.

Google “I’m CEO, bitch” if you’re having trouble getting along.

50 – I saw the joke, and hilarious it was too. But the point is that Zuckerberg and Cameron have actually had rather a lot to do with each other recently, and it’s the far side of unlikely that Zuckerberg and Facebook would do anything other than soft-soap the entire situation. As indeed they have.

It’s the new sensation, the Tim J action doll – just wind him up and watch him go!

53. the a&e charge nurse

According to meeja reports today another pro-Moat site has appeared (on Facebook) describing this horribly damaged man-child as ‘a loving father and an all round canny lad’.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1295141/Siobhan-ODowd-set-Raoul-Moat-Facebook-tribute-site.html

Perhaps gorgeous George (Galloway) was right to draw attention to a palpable sense of anti-establishment amongst certain disaffected groups – a strata unlikely to feel reassured by the slash & burn policies of our neo-con, sorry, Lib-Con masters?

Curiously it was Andy Burnham (on Question Time) who became most animated at the prospect of greater regulation of the net, perhaps Moat-gate is the first skirmish in a potentially illiberal process?

A&E,

Curiously it was Andy Burnham (on Question Time) who became most animated at the prospect of greater regulation of the net,

This doesn’t surprise – Labour has form.

The fact that people can say things like “love got the better of you” in response to Moat’s killing spree is a product of the way the media focused its attention on an “exciting” movie-like narrative

It’s not the media’s fault. The reason some people say idiotic things like the above comment is that they are idiots. I’m sure there were people who talked shite long before television and newspapers existed.

Oh, and there were plenty of posters taking the piss out of the idiot who said “love got the better of you” — I’ve quoted some of them on my blog: “Another one that’s just beyond parody. Oh yes – he was full of LOVE, alright. If only Shakespeare were alive today, he would write sonnet upon sonnet about this man.” or “I HOPE THE NEXT RAOUL MOAT SHOOTS YOUR BROTHER, SISTER, DAUGHTER, SON, MOTHER, FATHER, HUSBAND , WIFE, GIRLFRIEND, BOYFRIEND OR BETTER STILL YOU!”

If you’re ex-partner beats you or tries to kill you it is not because “love got the better” of him but because he’s a violent misogynist.

I don’t think Moat was a misogynist — he hated men as much as women. Raoul Moat: equal opportunity hater.

@9: It’s really interesting, isn’t it, the comparison between the public (or some of it anyway) reaction to Moat and the reaction to the Bulger killers (and I bet some of them are the very same people).

You-re probably right — IIRC one of the comments on the Moat page said that he wasn’t a bad person because we wasn’t a pedophile.

But no, the facebook pages shouldn’t be censored,

Indeed not. The whole point of freedom of speech is it is the right to say things others don’t like.

just those of us with sense should counter these moronic arguments.

Or just take the piss out of the morons. Some people have views that just can’t be taken seriously.

@20 Galen10: Given that, the people hosting such social networking sites need to make a judgement call as to whether given pages are acceptable or not. Of course, in the absence of particular legislation their judgement calls may not always be right. However seems like a no-brainer to me that a page glorifying Moat is wrong on just so many levels.

Tell you what, why don’t you get your own website, where you can decide what content gets put on it? And while you’re at it, quit complaining about other people’s websites. You don’t own Facebook, so it’s not really any of your business what they put on it, is it?

59. Matt Munro

@ 54 “This doesn’t surprise – Labour has form”.

Indeed. Another of their (unaffordable, half-baked) plans was what amounted to continuous, unregulated monitoring of the entire net, to protect us all from pedos and terrorists, natch.

60. Charlieman

The saddest thing about Cameron’s intervention is that he has fallen into the same trap as his New Labour predecessors. The fact that something unpleasant is published on the internet does not require a response from anyone in government. I hope that Cameron’s advisors have learned a lesson.

Whatever you feel about the coalition government, you’ll probably agree that responding to micro events is folly. Or a waste of words. Government is supposed to concern itself with big things and when government says something, it should be something to which we pay attention. Something that government can affect. We might not like the message about the big thing, but it should be important.

That is not to disregard discussion of the Moat tribute site and the sympathies expressed there. Sociologists, councillors, counsellors and clinical psychiatrists may benefit from micro level debate. Government should do nothing as an immediate response.

It isn’t all that important whether Cameron directly asked for the tribute site to be removed or whether he said that he didn’t like it. The important thing is that he (and successors) learn not to do it again.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed http://bit.ly/9oucn5

  2. Mary Crosby

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy: David Cameron took a swipe at Facebook users… http://bit.ly/9iKqR2

  3. Vanesa Quick

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/dh3baN

  4. Jamie Sport

    Dangerous territory when our PM starts telling Facebook to take down pages he doesn't like, however vile they are http://bit.ly/9y6esu

  5. Suggy

    RT @JamieSport: Dangerous territory when our PM starts telling Facebook to take down pages he doesn't like, however vile they are http://bit.ly/9y6esu

  6. Henrik Boyander

    Hey, Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy http://askhenrik.com/9l1jkR

  7. Randy Winkler

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/9WQZxA

  8. onlinepromoter.info

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy: David Cameron took a swipe at Facebook users… http://bit.ly/calKZZ

  9. Katie Hudson

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy: David Cameron took a swipe at Facebook users… http://bit.ly/calKZZ

  10. SugarCube Media

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/9zC1vn #facebook

  11. Amanda Davidson

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy: David Cameron took a swipe at Facebook users… http://bit.ly/calKZZ

  12. Deanne Daniew

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy: David Cameron took a swipe at Facebook users… http://bit.ly/akwpaw

  13. Shirley Chew

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy: David Cameron took a swipe at Facebook users… http://bit.ly/9iKqR2

  14. BB Bell

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/cO9V3C

  15. MasterPM

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/bn7KvJ

  16. Summer Walters

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy http://tinyurl.com/34qam6r

  17. Justin Nelson

    Facebook and Raoul Moat – censorship not needed | Liberal Conspiracy http://ht.ly/2c34H





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.