So the British Govt. is thinking about banning twitter and other social networking tools during times of civil disturbance. their rationale, like all petty dictatorships, is that people plotting disorder use the social networks to plan and organize.
Following on with that line of thinking, I have some other suggestions for them. The following 10 suggestions are in no particular order of importance:
- Shut down telephone networks. People can organize by phone.
- Ban any petrol or any product that can be used as an accelerant. Without these, there will be no fires.
- Ban all electronics. If there are no electronics stores, there is less temptation for people to loot.
- Ban any matches, lighters or implements capable of sparking a fire.
- Ban all motor vehicles. Cars and vehicles were set on fire and rioters and looters might use these to transport themselves and their stolen goods.
- Ban all bicycles. From what I saw of the coverage of the riots, a lot of the younger people used bikes to get around.
- Ban scarves. I saw people covering their faces with scarves therefore making it hard for CCTV to get good pictures of them.
- Ban hoodies for the same reason as we need to ban scarves.
- Ban backpacks. Too easy for people to steal articles from and also to transport stolen articles.
- Ban TV. TV encourages social unrest and if we didn't have TV, we may not have even known riots were going on.
I think my 10 suggestions show as much common sense as the proposal to ban twitter and social networking. They also go just as far to address the underlying reasons behind the riots.
I am available as a consultant to the British government should they need my services to flesh these idea's out more.