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Twitter and Facebook to meet government over UK riots

FACEBOOK AND Twitter have reportedly announced that they will meet with British government to discuss whether a temporary ban should be enforced during times of civil unrest.

It is believed that executives from the internet powerhouses alongside Blackberry makers, Research in Motion [RIM], will speak with the home secretary, Theresa May, at a Home Office summit today (Aug 25), following Prime Minister David Cameron's recent claims that people used the social mediums to plan riots.

The news also follows the sentencing of youths Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, who were each given four years in jail for allegedly using Facebook to "incite" two riots, set to take place on August 8th and 9th.

Earlier this month (Aug 16) acting police commissioner, Tim Godwin, stated that he had reviewed the idea of closing down Twitter during the height of the unrest, but realised that the police did not have the power to do so.

Mr Godwin told MPs at the home affairs select committee: "I contemplated seeking the authority to switch it off. The legality of that is very questionable. We did not request that it was turned off but it is something we are pursuing as part of our investigative strategy."

It is expected that the social media bosses will contest the proposal of a complete ban, arguing that they have "self-monitring" technologies in place and a ruling that that they can be forced to hand over users’ personal details if they display open criminal behaviour.

In a statement Facebook said: “We look forward to meeting with the home secretary to explain the measures we have been taking to ensure that Facebook is a safe and positive platform for people in the UK at this challenging time."

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