Two Brits get 4 years prison for organizing riots using Facebook

uk_facebook_arrestOn Tuesday, two men from the north-west England – Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan – got four years prison for organizing and managing the recent riots through Facebook.

Blackshaw has used social networking to create an event page with date, time and place of the action in Northwich, and Sutcliffe has created a page «Warrington Riots», which also contained dates and times of riots for those who wished to join them. Until now, as a rule, one could get 4 years prison only for serious crimes.

“The public disturbances are seen as an aggravating factor and that is fair enough,” – said Andrew Neilson from the Howard League. “But there seems to be a complete lack of proportionality to some of the sentences…These make a mockery of proportionality, which is a key principle of the justice system.”

Police retort that a more lenient punishment (it is soft enough – sentence for a conviction of inciting disorder in the U.K. is 10 years) may provoke further violations of public order.

The prime minister, David Cameron has declared his belief that police should be able to curb and control the use of social networks in certain circumstances, Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry, have played an important role in the recent violence.

Dmitry Oreshko
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