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FaceBook democracy


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I’m not the biggest fan of social networking but I reckon the results of the recent FaceBook campaign threatening a mass boycott of the Glasgow shopping centre was a good demonstration of it’s power and possibly even a new form of democracy, what do you think? :roll:


If nothing else it demonstrates how quickly the Internet can be used to bring people together in a common cause. We saw this for the wrong reasons with the recent riots but here it’s been used to highlight and reverse a ruling prohibiting taking photographs of your own children under anti terrorism laws. I’d like to think that jobsworths across the country are now considering their positions on rules like this be it in schools, libraries or wherever, before the same thing happens to them.


The police have been made to look incredibly stupid on this one so they should now be taking stock and advising their officers not to threaten the people with laws intended to protect them.


Bill :)

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What it doesn’t say on the Telegraph report is that the shopping centre has now completely revoked its rules re taking photographs in the centre as a direct result of this campaign. The rules by all accounts were stupid let’s take the human rights to the extreme type rules i.e. can’t take a picture in the shopping centre because you might inadvertently take a picture of one of the staff.


Good result in my books!


Bill :)

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Telegraph - reads:

Chris White was approached by staff after taking a photograph of four-year-old Hazel eating an ice cream in the Braehead shopping centre near Glasgow on Friday afternoon.



Mr White was questioned by a security guard, who told him it was illegal to take pictures in the centre. He was then asked to delete any photos he had taken from his mobile phone.



Mr White explained that he had already uploaded two photos, in which his daughter was pictured riding a novelty motorbike in an ice cream parlour, to his Facebook page.



The police were called and Mr White was told there were "clear signs" saying no photographs were allowed.



He said one officer claimed that he was within his rights to confiscate the mobile phone containing the pictures under the Prevention of Terrorism Act


It does raise the issues about the sign that says 'No Photographs' what does that exactly mean and is it legal? Does it refer to family photographs or is it referring to shop fronts & displays?


It would appear that the law is still unclear on the use of e-Technology.


The other points Bill raises are examples of what Clay Shirky describes as cognitive surplus i.e. using the Internet to champion social causes by using the spare time people have (bit like this discussion room or students protests ouside the Town Hall organised via Facebook) - instead of sitting in front of the TV absorbing mindless stuff - the young especially are now using the Internet in many media forms to form associations - for good and bad (depending on your state of mind)- just wait until the silver surfers follow :P . It will take time to assimilate what the drawback and benefits are - cases like the ones Bill cites are examples of it taking place. :mrgreen:

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