San Francisco: Facebook and Twitter will meet with riot-spooked British officials today to discuss how social networks can play roles in keeping people safe during
The focus of a lunchtime meeting with the British Home Secretary has shifted from the notion of blocking social networks during riots to how police can use them to inform
law-abiding citizens and track down wrong-doers.
"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," Facebook said.
"In recent days we have ensured any credible threats of violence are removed from Facebook and we have been pleased to see the very positive uses millions of people have been making of our service to let friends and family know they are safe
and to strengthen their communities," the statement continued.
Representatives of popular microblogging service Twitter and Canada-based BlackBerry smartphone maker Research In Motion are also to take part in the hour-long meeting.
In the wake of riots, British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested cutting off social networking services used by people causing trouble in the streets.
"Free flow of information can be used for good, but it can also be used for ill," Cameron said in recorded official remarks.
"We are working with police, intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop police communicating via these websites and services when they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality," he continued.
Facebook opposes any ban on its services and will stress at the meeting how social media can be a tool for public safety and crime fighting.
BlackBerry is taking part because messages sent using its service are encrypted, thwarting efforts by police to intercept communications between rioters.