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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?

  • Re:Reality check (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:05PM (#37062200) Homepage

    They shot and killed an armed drug dealer. It may not have been justified, but he was not "innocent".

    The riots weren't about protesting that even. They were just an excuse to destroy and steal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:09PM (#37062272)

    Youthful indescretion? What fucking planet are you on? They were trying to incite a riot for fucks sake. Everyone prosecuted for ANY involvement should have a permanent blot on their record. You break the law you live with the consequences.

  • Re:Time for Vendetta (Score:5, Informative)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@@@gmail...com> on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:10PM (#37062282)

    V for Vendetta had a point - and that point wasn't mindless looting and rioting, which is what is going on at the moment.

    There is nothing politically orientated about the UK riots, its literally just idiots doing whatever they think they can get away with. So yeah, take these ten, and the ten after that, and the next ten - until they get the message that this kind of behaviour in the UK is not acceptable. We are already a democracy, we already have a say in our governance - think rioting is going to improve anything...?

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:19PM (#37062394) Journal

    It's a crime under the concept that your freedom to swing your fist ends at my nose. Shouting fire in a crowded theater and inciting violent riots put other people at serious risk of injury or death, and thus it is a natural and rational point at which to state a limit on free speech.

  • by LateArthurDent (1403947) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:29PM (#37062528)

    Youthful indescretion? What fucking planet are you on? They were trying to incite a riot for fucks sake. Everyone prosecuted for ANY involvement should have a permanent blot on their record. You break the law you live with the consequences.

    I don't know about you, but I live in the planet where inciting a riot is a non-violent activity, as opposed to participating in a riot.

    I can post, "EVERYONE GO RIOT NOW" all day long without hurting a soul. If you look at those words and you decide to be an idiot about it, that's YOU being an idiot about it.

  • by sjames (1099) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:34PM (#37062596) Homepage

    Of course, what has prevented the damage from being greater is those same shopkeepers and other citizens waving whatever improvised weapons they could still (semi) legally own and telling the rioters to go home. A few more cops on the beat in London telling rioters to go home would be more useful than detectives in Glasgow arresting Facebook posters.

    Such actions don't stroke any egos or put money into the coffers of the rich and powerful, so it was left to the individual citizens while the police "investigate" and prosecute people who talk about rioting (making them even more angry and bitter so they'll be sure to riot in the future).

  • by Shimbo (100005) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @06:11PM (#37063018)

    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.

  • by adamofgreyskull (640712) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:45PM (#37065110)
    A police spokesperson stated that given the heightened level of fear and the continued threat of violence what was considered "reasonable" use of force (the amount of force you're legally allowed to use in self-defence) would also be increased. Which I took to mean: If you have a gang of 5-10 youths trying to kick your door in, or break in through your window and you ding a couple with your cricket bat, you're more likely to get off than you would under normal circumstances.

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