V3 readers appear to be split over whether the government should ban social media and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) during times of social unrest, according to our latest Social Media Poll.
We decided to take a snapshot of V3 reader opinions following prime minister David Cameron's statements immediately after the recent violence and looting that the government is working with law enforcers and industry to "look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these web sites and services".
Some 46 per cent of respondents said that a ban is the only way to stop rioters outwitting the police, while 54 per cent disagreed with the idea of a ban.
Interestingly, the government's approach appears now to have softened, if the feedback from Thursday's meeting between the home secretary, social media companies, RIM representatives and police is anything to go by.
It is understood that the issue of restricting services such as Facebook, Twitter and BBM was never on the table, and that the meeting focused instead on how the tech companies involved could better train and assist law enforcers in monitoring their services for signs of trouble.
Just over a third of respondents disagreed with a ban because social media can be a force for good at times of social unrest, while providing the police with a good source of intelligence.
It is precisely this information, and how best to tap it, that was on the agenda at Thursday's meeting.
Some 11 per cent of V3 readers believe that universal internet access is a basic human right and should never be taken away, while an even smaller number, six per cent, argued that those intent on rioting and looting will merely find another way to organise themselves if certain tools are banned.
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