Fight Rioters — Unplug Them

August 12th, 2011

Since Twitter and Facebook help rioters organize “spontaneous” uprisings, law enforcement must use social media to fight back.  Like a burst of late-night raves, hooligans show up with fire and lawlessness in the their eyes.  As I discuss in RUSH, the brains of young people under 25 are not fully developed.  They cannot imagine bad consequences as well as adults can.  That’s no excuse, but it means police need “in-your-face” tactics.

What should Scotland Yard do?  Confiscate telephones, collect social settings, scan tweets, copy Facebook posts and flood networks with warnings.  Not just verbal warnings, but photos of young people looking bored and depressed sitting behind bars.  The police should disclose the names of those arrested to their cellphone carriers, recommending that the carrier cut off service.  After all, any looter is a bad credit risk!  Instead of a “do not fly list,” a hooligan would show up on a “do not text” list.

Losing smartphone service?  For a young person, that’s the twenty-first century version of cutting off an arm.

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