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    UK Government Plans for Social Media, Broadcast Ban Contradict Democratic Values

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    UK government's plans to introduce "extremism disruption orders" that will prevent designated "extremists" from appearing on television and radio run "contrary to democratic values", a respected professor in media studies told RIA Novosti Thursday.

    GLASGOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – UK government's plans to introduce "extremism disruption orders" that will prevent designated "extremists" from appearing on television and radio run "contrary to democratic values", a respected professor in media studies told RIA Novosti Thursday.

    "As with all attempts to resolve socio-political problems through media control, this is the wrong-headed," Prof. John Robertson of the University of the West of Scotland told RIA Novosti.

    "These proposals are contrary to the very democratic values supposedly being defended from extremism and, of course, likely to be ineffective," Robertson added.

    Robertson was commenting after the UK Conservative Party unveiled plans to introduce a new policy that will target individuals who, according to Home Secretary Theresa May, "undertake harmful activity" for the purpose of "overthrowing democracy."

    The policy would restrict individuals from using social media, speaking at public events and taking part in mainstream media interviews.

    "Existing laws on the prosecution of, for example, communications thought to promote violence, are already adequate for policing of the latter," Robertson told RIA Novosti.

    "Again the crucial role of a militaristic foreign policy in stimulating criminal 'blowback' acts in the UK is neglected. Being 'tough on the causes of crime' should lead to a review of foreign policy in the Middle East rather than wasting police resources on social media activity with unproven links to behavior," Robertson added.

    "Finally, the massive complexity of social media activity, globally, makes the detection of genuine threats a hit-or-miss matter by contrast with active community/police relationships," Robertson said.

    Speaking at a Conservative Party's conference held in Birmingham on Tuesday, Home Secretary Theresa May announced plans to considerably tighten up national security legislation to fight terrorism, in particular stemming from the Islamic State (IS) group, should the party win the 2015 election.

    IS extremists have become particularly notorious for using social media for their propaganda campaigning and posting ghastly beheading videos on the Internet. Earlier, it unveiled the footage showing the execution of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and a British aid worker David Haines.

    Tags:
    Internet, extremism, Media, Social Media, Conservative Party, John Robertson
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