Ronny Lam


Minister Opstelten Is Against Censoring Social Media


Facebook Netherlands regrets the riots in Haren on Friday, but does not feel responsible for the resulting complications surrounding the so-called ‘Facebook Party’. “It’s not hard to determine through privacy settings for whom the message is intended. Users can control that themselves,” said a spokeswoman for the social networking site on Monday.

This is exactly the wrong reaction from Facebook, just as I expected. Facebook does not care about privacy at all. Everything is opt-out, almost nothing opt-in. In that way the birthday party from a girl in Haren was public by default and she forgot to check the checkbox to make it private. But Facebook says it is her own fault. A’holls!

The good thing in this news article is that the minister of justice Opstelten does not believe in censoring social media. We have seen that in other countries like the riots in London where politics thought of censorship during riots which started on social media. But censoring social media would only escalate the problem and would only push communications to other channels.

Social Media channels need to be monitored and community managers should be able to engage with other social media leaders to influence certain communications. Low and behold, the first one is already in place in the Netherlands, the second one still needs some work.

This leaves me with one question: if this was in place, what went wrong with project X in Haren? Maybe the social media thing is new in this day and age, but crisis management of a large group of youngsters is of all times.