David Cameron, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, who made comments in the wake of last month’s nation-wide riots about the possibility of blocking participants in civil unrest from using social media, has joined Google’s new social network, Plus. Joining him this morning were +Ed Miliband and +Nick Clegg (as they are referred to on Google’s site), leaders of the Labor and Liberal Democrat party.
Cameron’s remarks about discussing the possibility of blocking social networks at times of unrest were widely criticized as either a balloon being floated for dictatorial contro, an appeasement of angry critics of social networks or simply heavy-handed. Others said it was simply a matter of putting a widely discussed idea on the table. When the city of San Francisco shut off cell phone service in its transit system in order to prevent organizers of a protest against police brutality from using their mobile devices to organize - that made the whole matter feel much more serious.