SWITCHING OFF social media will not be effective and will attract some pretty dodgy "friends", according to speakers at a Westminster Eforum today.
During the forum on cyber threats and protecting critical infrastructure, speakers discussed whether it is beneficial to turn off social media during times of crisis like the riots the UK saw last summer.
John Bassett, Associate Fellow at the Royal United Service Institute, said that there needs to be "a good relationship" between the Government, law enforcement and service providers.
He said, "The big challenge is can we find a better way of getting indicators and warnings out of social media. We've talked about shall we switch things off but it causes panic and more importantly it compromises our values."
Bassett admitted that when talked about in the past, plans to possibly block social media had received praise from some rather dodgy sources.
He said, "When we talked about it we had certain countries contacting us and congratulating us on blocking it. You find you have certain friends if you have those values."
This was backed up by Professor Roger Graef from the Met Police advisory group, who said, "If you do start to control the media you get into bed with some very uncomfortable people."
Justin Crump, CEO of security company Sibylline, added that any attempt to close down social media would be fruitless, as more networks would spring up faster than they could be blocked.
He said, "If you look at the backlog of social media patents there is all the stuff coming over the next few years. We are seeing innovation all the time, people will adapt and bring in new tools after every rule that you make. You need to apply basic principles, just done very well." µ
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