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Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe [Labour backbencher]: [T]he demonstrations yesterday were about tuition fees. Today we have the announcement about welfare reform. Next year we will start to see the consequences of the housing benefit changes being introduced, and there will be a growing mood, as I am sure most people will agree, of dissatisfaction in many quarters... I draw attention to what happened in Newcastle when there was the debacle with Mr Moat. We saw that a substantial website was quickly established, with thousands of people signing up to it and supporting him, quite contrary to the view expressed on behalf of the public by the Prime Minister. We then saw a funeral that literally hundreds of people attended, contrary to what most people would have thought would happen. There is a distinct possibility, with the technology that is now available to us—we see this when surprise parties are called by teenagers and thousands of people descend on their home for a party—that in 2011 we will see a different mood entirely with a different technology available that could lead to demonstrations of a nature that we have not previously experienced.
So, if there are protests and riots in the near future, the reason for them won't be cuts or hardship but Facebook? You heard it here first and, probably, last.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
The asubstantialwebsite.com domain would seem to be unclaimed.
Nov. 12th, 2010 10:42 am (UTC)
I don't read Lord Brooke's comment as blaming demonstrations on Facebook. I see it as an implicit justification for more government monitoring, surveillance, and censorship of Facebook, and twitter, and other new media mechanisms that the disenchanted might use in order to foment flash mobs and other undesirable symptoms of civil dissent.

See also: Iran.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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