Saturday, July 23, 2011

There oughta be a law...

Or at least Cleveland City Council figures there should be another.  In light of the use of social media to create flash mobs they want to make it a misdemeanor to use twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc to create a disruptive flash mob.  Mind you, they don't want to stop the 'good' flash mobs, just those naughty ones.

         "We want to keep the singing in the malls, we want to keep all the flash mobbing that is dancing or whatever you do that's positive but the negative use of it with the intent to disrupt and cause some injury or some type of damage that we're going to speak to," he said.

 Trying to separate a good disruption from a bad one is such a nebulous proposal that I doubt any charge would be upheld in court.  It's ridiculous that they cannot use a current law to control the undesirable behavior; what ever happened to disorderly conduct?  The manner of communication shouldn't have any bearing on the end result they're trying to control.  Saying, "it's okay to meet in a large group due to a phone tree, but not a group text" or "mailed invitations are fine, but e-mails are right out," seems downright silly.  Seriously, how pathetic.  Workers organized strikes before AIM, people marched on Washington before Facebook and riots broke out before Twitter.  People will gather in groups to promote a cause regardless of the source of invitation, punishing them due to their choice of communication is shortsighted and myopic.  Technology doesn't control or create the behavior, it just gives people a new way of accomplishing their intentions.  New facets of wonder and horror are exposed with each technological leap into the future.  It's how we apply our country's founding principles and laws that temper the resulting knowledge and abilities.  Destructive people will find a way to pervert the loftiest advancement and they should be punished due to their intent, not their methodology. 

In this case, it seems like the city council is looking for a new source of revenue more-so than a way to keep the public safe and unharried.  The fines for this new crime would start at $100.00 and climb to $500.00 for repeat offenders.  Hrmm... common sources of communication + large group of undesirable people + sizable fine = $$$$$   I'm starting to see the council's logic!  Hopefully this suggested law dies an ignoble death and the council members move on to playing tiddly-winks, which would be a far more productive pursuit than they've attempted thus far. 

1 comment:

Bubblehead Les. said...

How do these Clueless Idiots stay in Power? Maybe if they Budget Police, Fire and EMS FIRST, instead of laying Safety People off, they wouldn't have to worry about "Flash Mobs." Besides, last I heard, only the FCC has the Authority to control what can go on a Cell Phone, so they'll be spending 10's of Thousands of Tax Payer Dollars defending themselves in Federal Court against their Stupid Attempt to restrict Freedom of Speech. And if someone calls for a Flash Mob while standing across the street in say, oh East Cleveland, what are they going to do since the call originated outside their Jurisdiction?

No wonder anyone who can is getting out of Cleveland.