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Comic: Riots in Great Britain

The history of social media as a tool to incite violence

British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday said his government is exploring ways in which it might restrict the use of social media, to prevent them from being "used for ill."

China, understandably, was unimpressed. A Xinhua editorial offered, "We may wonder why western leaders, on the one hand, tend to indiscriminately accuse other nations of monitoring, but on the other take for granted their steps to monitor and control the Internet."

Roberto De Vido is a communications consultant, writer, cartoonist and jack of many trades. The former chief of Tucson Sentinel’s East Asia Bureau, he now lives in California (make of that what you will).

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“The potential for the abuse of power through digital networks ... is one of the most insidious threats to democracy in the Internet age.”

— Rebecca MacKinnon, Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the New America Foundation