BBC Radio 4

    Moral Maze on Twitter and mob rule

    Head of Interactive, Radio 3

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    This evening starting at 2000, the disputatious crew of the good ship Moral Maze will be debating 'Twitter and mob rule'. Guests are regulars Melanie Philips and Clifford Longley plus Kenan Malik and James Panton. The programme's billing says:

    This week the Moral Maze asks "when does a popular and spontaneous protest become mob rule?" Fans of Twitter, the micro blogging site, have chalked up a couple of notable victories of late. Followers helped to expose a legal injunction against the Guardian and Twitter led protests generated tens of thousands of complaints against Jan Moir when she wrote a column using the death of Stephen Gately to criticise gay marriage. Is this net based protest a valuable tool to demonstrate popular opinion or are we sacrificing traditional political engagement for the instant gratification direct action?

    Since I expect the Twittersphere will be humming loudly during the programme (it's already started), let's keep track of the conversation using a hashtag.

    If you're listening this evening and you feel like Tweeting about the programme or its theme, use the hash tag #moralmaze. That way everyone who's listening will be able to see each other's contributions. Use a search tool like Ice Rocket or Twitter's own. Or use a real-time display gadget like Twitterfall. There's a comprehensive list of Twitter clients and services on Wikipedia. Just follow the hashtag #moralmaze.

    I'll be there, listening and tweeting on the @Radio4blog account as will other Radio 4 people. Guests Kenan Malik (a regular presenter of Analysis) and James Panton (an Oxford academic) are on Twitter and they've both mentioned their appearances on tonight's programme already.

    Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog

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