Overheard on CNN.com: Social media didn't cause UK riots, people did!
Suspected rioter David O'Neill leaves court Thursday in London after posting bail on charges, including aggravated violence
August 12th, 2011
04:57 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Social media didn't cause UK riots, people did!

Comments of the Day:

"Well now, isn't that a remarkably fascist comment by the prime minister."–jkINC

"Unfortunately, he does represent the people, who always give up freedom when they hear the word 'safety,' starting with speeding cameras, ending with Internet censorship."–Firstboss

British PM proposes social media ban for rioters

British Prime Minister David Cameron called in representatives of Twitter, Facebook and Research in Motion - makers of BlackBerry - to discuss how social media were used to facilitate the UK riots. "When people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them," Cameron said Thursday during an address to Parliament.

Bad idea, said most CNN.com readers. Blackspeare said, "It would be better for the UK PM to look within rather than without for the root cause of the riots." Spearco said, " 'Shut down social media' is what you would expect from China, not England." wxmyjnsn said, "WOW! Blame social media instead of your own incompetence, a novel idea. Just how did all those riots in the past get organized?"

Greekgeek said, "The people who were organizing all this, as the Guardian quickly discovered, were using BlackBerrys to text each other directly, not social media like Twitter, Facebook. But don't let facts get in the way of trampling on the rights of others!"

truthordare said, "How appropriate that when a government feels threatened, the first reaction is to try to kill free speech. This is the danger in electronic media. It can be controlled." But DenverRalphy said, "Freedom of speech allows for criticism of government without fear of reprisal or censorship. It doesn't extend to incitement of criminal or violent behavior."

mklsgl said, "Facebook, Twitter, et al.: Anti-Social Media."

Are Republicans at war with reality?

John Avlon, senior political columnist and author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America," summarized the ideas he heard during the GOP debate Thursday night, among them: "States' rights should rule the day, unless you're gay," and "Loyalty oaths should be the new normal." Nonetheless, he concludes, given the economy, it's possible one of the people onstage Thursday night could be the next U.S. president.

TammyLee2 said, "Obviously John Avlon is so out of touch with mainstream America. He has no idea what 'reality' is anymore." Jilli disagreed. "I watched the debate - or at least as much as I could tolerate. What planet are these people living on? Sharia law? The lightbulb choice amendment? I can't laugh; weeping would be more appropriate."

GBfromOhio said, "I watched much of the debate with my jaw dropped in disbelief at the disingenuous attempts to pander to the wealthy and the intolerant based solely on the seductive desire to be POTUS. God help us all if one of these folks get elected."

agoodsong said, "Well, well, John. You must have felt like a 10-year-old at the county fair shootin' an air gun at those little ducks as they rode by. Shooting air at these laughable candidates won't necessarily win you a Pulitzer but it will definitely reveal that even you 'don't get it.' The Grand Ole Party is no more: Call it the Grand NEW Partea. Boehner missed his chance to tell Harry and Barack 'NO DEAL'. Now he'll miss his chance to continue as leader. Tea party's comin', John, and it ain't gonna be pretty. Last year it was the Dems. Next year, it'll be the Grand OLD Boys voted out."

fearless68 said, ""What's odd is that the media is not reporting that Ron Paul won the debate by an overwhelming margin last night. The media is trying to push Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann out there as American favorites even though they are very unpopular." theoilman said, "Huntsman actually seems like a relatively sane candidate if he wasn't just as obsessed at no-compromise fiscal policy as the rest of them."

Voice1 asked, "Why don't the debate hosts ask the candidates what they will do specifically to create jobs, instead of letting them get away with saying they will focus on a jobs agenda? No one knows what their jobs agenda looks like." Voice1O said, "A common theme was war on EPA. I do not want USA to be like China, just because it makes it cheaper to produce goods. As a citizen, I need someone (EPA) to make sure that I do not have pollutants in my neighborhood." Sonoman said, "Two words you didn't hear last night: 'middle class.'"

Postal Service asks Congress to allow 120,000 layoffs, overhaul benefits

According to documents obtained by CNNMoney, the United States Postal Service is appealing to Congress to remove collective bargaining restrictions in order to lay off 120,000 workers. It also wants Congress to approve the replacement of postal workers' existing government health care and retirement plans.

GeneralTarfu said, "Other nongovernment mail services seem to be doing quite well." cuseguy replied, "Because they charge 10,000% more. Feel free to pay 20 bucks to UPS to deliver the same thing the post office does for less than a buck."

paratrooper said, "The post office should be run like a business. I do not know of a business that can stand to repeatedly lose billions of dollars a year and still keep their doors open." gce1356 replied, "The USPS has never been a business. It has always been a service. Given that it has to deliver mail to every little rural hamlet and mailbox, expecting it to turn a profit like a business is ridiculous. Trim some fat when necessary, but don't expect it to always turn a profit."

Reason2012 said, "The post office should go to a three-day delivery (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). With e-mail, UPS, FedEx and online bill pay there is no longer a need for six-day delivery service." ranger4ever said, "End Saturday delivery and raise prices for delivery to logistically unpractical locations to match those of other private package services! Also, have real-time tracking. I recently sent a package to a small Alaskan city with only small airplane mail service. FedEx and UPS wanted more than $150, and USPS was under $30! I like all the people at my post office, and don't begrudge them for making $45,000 and getting benefits. You've always shown me respect."

Steve1959 said, "When Katrina hit New Orleans, I didn't see little e-mails out there delivering care packages or FEMA checks nor a UPS or FedEx truck around. What I did see was a postal carrier paddling down the street to get those checks and packages delivered as best as he could. I saw the postal service develop a whole system almost overnight to ensure mail delivery to those who were dislocated. I've seen numerous reports of carriers saving people's lives."

21stCenturySLC, replied to a comment that postal service workers receive "Cadillac insurance and retirement plan, and I'm sure they contribute almost nothing to them", saying:

"Check your facts before you post! Postal workers pay for their portion of health insurance just like employees in the private sector, and their 401(k) plans are no more generous. I cringe when I look at my spouse's paycheck and see all the deductions. What's left from his hard physical work on the street each day - typically 10 hours making 500-600 deliveries in the hot sun, the snow and rain, dodging cars, bikes and kids, dealing with angry customers - is appalling and sad. It's not really 'Cadillac,' just a job."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Mad Hatter

    That was my troll at 12:02am.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. gung hoe

    Good morning banasy ya thats why i said first week of oct 2012 whats yours and hey thanx for sticking up for the right or was that your troll

    August 13, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Silver Wraith

    I agree with Bond re the PM and fascism.

    August 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. the prophet

    World order will come to a critical boiling point...the US is a communist country bound to collapse in less then 2 years, no agency will have enough power to save it. All three branches of the government will be affected independently but there is a fourth one that will undermine all operations.

    August 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Gee the prophet, you must be kidding here! The US a Communist country? Hardly!!! In fact, as a country, we're the exact opposite of being one!!! Just look at what's going on on Wall Street and don't forget about all those needless wars that we're fighting abroad!!!

      August 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. s kel

    it was an easy to get stolen goods, simple as that.

    August 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    Did you all see that video report where these hooligans are shown pilfering the back pack of an asian boy who is injured & bleeding, making off with whatever they could lay their hands on?
    Three Asian immigrants were killed at the hands of these rioters.

    Were the minorities rioting or the other way round/ see the foto of the punk shown in this article.
    hope this doesn't happen here , there is no lack odf gangs & hoodlums here.

    August 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Name*adam

    Hello mr pm of Britain,are you becoming china becouse of idiots,good luck

    August 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pink Panther


    August 14, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. rick s.

    The lesson here is if you're fed up with your government then you need to confront the government, not take it out on innocent civilians and shop owners. A failed effort indeed.

    August 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Richard F. Kessler

    How very British. Attack the medium not the message. Riots are caused by rioters. Major U.S. cities experienced widespread rioting after the death of Martin Luther King. Massive destruction and significant loss of life occurred without cell phones, IM or Twitter. The government can either look to remediate the underlying causes of rioting or anticipate more of the same. Law becomes enforceable only so long as most people obey the law voluntarily relegating enforcement to act upon the small number who are noncompliant. When so many young people are so disaffected they no longer obey the law, there is an underlying pathology whiich must be corrected.

    August 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kay

    Get use to it. It will be coming to your town soon.

    August 15, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. Michela

    @Jennifer F Moore,I think what you are getting at is the tednency of some online groups or communities to become echo chambers . While that's always a real possibility, it's nice for folks that are like minded to get together to share common experiences or help one another along a not-so-clear path to personal fulfillment.While I fully support (and practice) questioning as a way to learn about the universe around us, questioning for the sake of questioning can sometimes derail the process and bog us down needlessly when certain things have already been fully established or accepted. Open-minded vs empty headed is what I'm getting at, I guess. Also, there are those individuals that are intent on disruption and domination, not dialogue. While we rely on each other to do a little self-policing, sometimes it's inevitable that others will step in to point out another commenter's nuttbaggery or aggression.

    December 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
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