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UK Police Arrest 12 Over Facebook Use Inciting Riots 369

Posted by timothy
from the where-was-prothero-at-the-time? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scotland Yard vowed to track down and arrest protesters who posted 'really inflammatory, inaccurate' messages on Facebook, but it didn't stop at just two people. While two teenagers were arrested earlier this week in connection with messages posted on Facebook allegedly encouraging people to start rioting, 10 more have now joined them."
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UK Police Arrest 12 Over Facebook Use Inciting Riots

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday August 11, 2011 @04:54PM (#37062036)

    If you're going to bust everyone who posts THOSE on Facebook, you're going to need a helluva lot more cops.

    But, then, I never realized that posting inaccurate information was a jailable offense in the UK. But then, I guess if you piss off the powerful people in any given country, just about anything is a jailable offense, isn't it?

    • by mewsenews (251487)
      Inciting a riot is a crime on the level of shouting fire in a crowded theatre
      • Agreed. But what exactly did they post, unfortunately TFA doesn't tell that. I'd like to see that kind of speech one should not engage in if he wants to remain free. Did they post instructions for "proper" rioting and how to cause as much damage as possible, maybe organizing and assembling people? Or was it more along the lines of "fuck the pigs, they deserve it, go nuts!"?

        Personally, I see a big difference between the two.

      • by Godai (104143) *

        Exactly what I was thinking of when I read this article. That said, the UK does not have 'Free Speech' (neither do we in Canada) so even that example isn't necessary to press criminal charges in cases like this.

        As someone above pointed out though, posting "inflammatory, inaccurate messages" is a pretty weak basis for arresting anyone. Presumably said messages need to lead to some kind of crime. I imagine it will require proving the link between the post & the crime, and then proving intent. If that's a

        • by causality (777677)

          I seem to recall there was some woman in the news recently who badgered some teenage girl with false messages purporting to be from schoolmates, eventually driving the the poor kid to suicide. Everyone knew the woman had done it, but there was no crime with which to charge her. I suppose in the UK that wouldn't have been a problem.

          The fact is, if anything anyone can say online can cause someone to kill themselves, that person had serious problems to begin with.

          I blame the parents and the school system f

        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          That said, the UK does not have 'Free Speech' (neither do we in Canada)

          Canadians enjoy a freedom of expression, as explained in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms [justice.gc.ca]

          Fundamental freedoms

          2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
          (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
          (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
          (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
          (d) freedom of association.

    • All this is going to do is jail some armchair revolutionaries. The police should be out on the street beating and arresting the scum who are torching houses and looting businesses, of course that might be dangerous so they'd better not. Pathetic.

      • by beelsebob (529313)

        Armchair revolutionary? What you mean is... a ned who was trying to start the looting and torching in Glasgow too so that he got get himself some free stuff.

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      On top of that, I'm concerned that delegating responsibility solely to the inciters lets the people who did the actual violent acts off the hook.

      People have to know that lots of others spout shit, but they should be responsible for their own acts and not just the next scapegoat.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Shimbo (100005)

        On top of that, I'm concerned that delegating responsibility solely to the inciters lets the people who did the actual violent acts off the hook.

        1600+ rioters arrested, 12 for Facebook postings.

    • Mass Arrest (Score:2, Insightful)

      by umbrellasd (876984)
      The goal isn't to arrest people. The goal is to cow the masses with a demonstration of force. Such are the mechanics of oppression.
      • Re:Mass Arrest (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Flipao (903929) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:18PM (#37063616)
        If by demonstration of force you mean the way they ransacked a good chunk of London, set buildings on fire, stole from defenceless individuals, left people homeless, terrified neighbourhoods, caused millions' worth of property damage, disrupted the lives of millions of people, etc... then you got that right, those are the mechanics of opression.

        If you're talking about the Police, who treated the rioters with kid gloves then you got it hopelessly wrong.
  • *sound of being arrested for riot-inducing comment on slashdot*

  • Before reading the articles (sorry), I thought that meant the police didn't know the actual location of the Facebook users, and they just posted "You are under arrest. You have the right to refrain from posting any more nonsense on your wall. Anything you say on teh internets can and will be used against you in meatspace. --Met Police"

  • At first I thought that the police had placed these people under arrest by posting on their walls.
  • Looting criminals (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ronmon (95471) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:33PM (#37062590)
    That is who slashdot chooses to defend? Probably not if it was Taco's stuff they were stealing but okay if it was someone else's.
    • by six11 (579)

      I don't see the relationship between the summary and what you said about it. Taco didn't write it, and timothy (who posted it) only copied in what the submitter wrote. You are implying that slashdot is defending the looters. I just don't see it.

      Inciting violence isn't just a bad idea, it's illegal. Those people could probably be nailed for conspiracy to commit violence as well, since they were communicating and coordinating how/when to do it. There was nothing in the summary that supported the looters or ri

  • by Yaur (1069446)
    Arrested for "encouraging disorder" sounds pretty weak? Anyone know what the actual content posted was?

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