Facebook No Place For Free Speech

Facebook Pages are all the rage these days, but that doesn’t mean they are pro-rage pages. No, a rage page can get you arrested in a hurry.

According to Voice of America:

A British court has sentenced two men to four years in prison for their failed attempts to use the social networking site Facebook to incite rioting during last week’s unrest in the country.

Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, were convicted of creating Facebook pages aimed at encouraging violent disorder in their hometowns in northwest England.

Both men pleaded guilty to creating the pages, which were entitled “Smash Down Northwich Town” and “Let’s Have a Riot in Latchford.”

Police say they infiltrated the Facebook page of Blackshaw last week and promptly arrested him after no one else joined him for the riot. Sutcliffe-Keenan’s page was only up for a few hours before he took it down.

To be clear, neither man actually caused any harm to their towns, but the fact that they wanted to is enough for authorities in England to lock the men up for four years.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today, I'm the founder and creative director at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon. We bring integrated marketing solutions to our clients in healthcare, human services, real estate, fashion, outdoor recreation, and food and beverage.

Comments

  1. Freedom Ain't Free says:

    Admittedly overreacting to the title of this post, but “free speech” is not without restrictions. Don’t know how things are handled in England, but in the U.S., freedom of speech does not allow for inciting riots, slander, libel, etc. Additionally, certain types of communication – including advertising and promotions – have restrictions too.

  2. “neither man actually caused harm” — that doesn’t refute the fact that they conspired to incite a riot on a public forum, which wouldn’t be a form of protected speech anyway.

  3. “neither man actually caused harm” — that doesn’t refute the fact that they conspired to incite a riot on a public forum, which wouldn’t be a form of protected speech anyway.