back to article Twitter would have stopped Rwandan genocide, claims PM

The PM reckons the web and Twitter would have made the murder of millions of Rwandans in the 1990s impossible, according to The Guardian. The online spread of information about the current unrest in Iran indicated a change "more tumultuous than any previous economic or social revolution", Gordon Brown said. "This week's …


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  1. Paul 8
    Thumb Down


    "Then, launching into utopian hyperbole, he mused: "You cannot have Rwanda again because information would come out far more quickly about what is actually going on and the public opinion would grow to the point where action would need to be taken.""

    So he admits that politicians only need to take action after enough people piss and moan about it?

    What about taking action because millions of people are dying not taking action because people are moaning about people dying?

    Bah and bah again, comments like this cement my contempt of politics and politicians.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You're f--king s--tting me? It may have made the Rwandan genicide worse (as they'd of been able to find the "cockraoches" all the faster) - the west knew all about the genocide and didn't give a flying toss becouse it was just blacks killing blacks and the West ain't never cared about that, Gordon needs sacking for that statement alone - piece of filthy c--p. He needs a history lesson.

    The West only care about this becouse we're scared of Iran and it's reminicsent of the orange revolution. Also Iranians arn't black, they also have flash mobiles, some of them dress like us, and we have Iraq as an ongoing concern.

    If this were going on in the Ethiopia or Sudan no one would give a toss and it would just be a 2 paragraphs on the 3rd page of the broadsheets maybe get a mention a month on the news.

    Rwandans had to sort it out themselves, and the Iranians are going to sort it out themselves, the West isn't worth squat except spouting a few worthless words and waiting to see what bits it can steal once the dust has settled.

  3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Internet in Rwanda?

    And just how many people in Rwanda have net access, I wonder?

  4. DT
    Thumb Down

    what a prize arse

    Twittering would stop a genocide?

    Yes, and if Anne Frank had sent text messages instead of scribbing in her diary, it would stopped the holocaust.

    (so long as she remembered to set her 'phone to silent)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    possibly the Congo, Burma/Myanmar, Tibet, Zimbabwe, etc

  6. disgruntled yank

    And Facebook would have stopped WW II

    It's all so simple when you understand it.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    The only thing Twitter makes impossible is for tedious nerds in trendy thick-framed black glasses to shut up about what pathetic non-function they are currently creating by mashing up Google Maps and Starbucks.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Transparently bullshit, ...

    ... because everyone did know exactly what was going on and nobody did anything about it. (Except for the Belgian UN contingent, whose response was to leg it.)

  9. John P

    What a pillock

    Mine's the one with the phone in the pocket which most definitely does not have Twitter in it's browser history.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pot... kettle??

    I'm not trying to compare ID cards to the genocide mentioned but when petitions on the government's own site and numerous facebook and other protests show people dont want ID cards, why does he ignore public opinion?

    Does he really think pointing at something else and critisizing is really going to make people forget how hes screwing everything up?

  11. Tom Chiverton 1

    Umm ?

    The problem with Rwanda wasn't we didn't know what was happening, it was the government ignored it. Probably because they don't have large oil interests there...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Way too scary to be funny

    >>"You cannot have Rwanda again because information would come out far more quickly

    >> about what is actually going on and the public opinion would grow to the point where

    >> action would need to be taken."

    Ye olde 'wir haben es nicht gewußt'-defense.

    (And here I was thinking that it was lack of political decisiveness rather than lack of information, that let that situation get as far out of hand as it did.)

    I may be sounding old, but I don't think you should joke about things like that. And mister PM's statement is so far removed from anything remotely having to do with reality, that I can only classify it as absurdistic. Perhaps not a joke per se, but maybe it's inbred cousin. You know, the one who believes things when he reads them on Wikipedia. He may not be joking, but you can't take him serious either.

    Twitter as a news outlet, ready to shape the Foreign Policies of tomorrow. Oh boy... we're in for it now.

    Mine is the one with the 'How to survive a Nuclear Totalkrieg' in the pocket. [SPOILER WARNING] You don't.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's rubbish

    And then there is this sort of tosh....

    It's about Twitter - it doesn't even have an IT angle!

  14. Lost in a maze of twisty messages, all alike.

    Gordo talking cobblers as usual

    The facts about Rwanda were perfectly well known, but governments ignored them.

    Very much like Gordo always does to public opinion.

    So how exactly is he suggesting that more publicity might have changed things ?

  15. SkippyBing

    It must be a pitch

    for a new Orange Movies short. He's obviously practising for when he loses power.

    Bit pointless as I plan to use him as a human piñata post my rise to power, the stupid fucking pointless one eyed scottish wankstain.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ID Cards

    Not sure about twitter, but not having identity cards would certainly have made it a lot harder.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time for the lie detector ...

    I suspect Gordon Brown of being a conservative mole, if that's the case he is doing a hell of a job.

  18. Steve 18
    Thumb Down

    ID cards

    Would this counter the effect of the ID cards Rwandans were forced to have - the cards that made genocide as easy as setting up a checkpoint?

    It couldn't happen here, though. We're civilised, I'm told.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Other uses of tech that could change history

    Like maybe putting MPs expense claims on a Sharepoint site?

  20. E 2


    Rwanda happened unchecked because the UN and it's members decided to do nothing. The beginning and course of the Rwandan genocide were widely reported at the time in mainstream media in Canada and the USA - I assume also in Europe.

    Further, Romeo D'Allaire, the general commanding the pittance of a peace keeping force in Rwanda held press conferences several times, and spoke to the CBC radio show 'As It Happens' several times in an effort to push the UN & co to give him proper support. 'As It Happens' is a very widely listened to news show in Canada, it airs in prime time (6:30PM and 8:00PM).

    The world knew all about Rwanda, the world just did not care.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The PM seems ontrack to me

    The thing is that stuff like murder, genocide, horrible abuse(s) ... tend to foster and ferment where there is no flow of information to the public at large.

    Yes, such info might be available to governments (John Major anyone?) but by having similar info available to public by the public it sort of bypasses political ineptitudes.

  22. Charles Manning

    re: Internet in Rwanda?

    Mobile coverage is better in Rwanda than in USA.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    It would just make it different.

    Just like if we had sent Terminators and Sarah Connor.

  24. Matt 4

    @There's rubbish

    It's important becouse it's digusting - he needs sacking and he needs sacking now.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Gee Whizz...

    ...If you ever wanted evidence that this man lives in La La Land, here it is.

    If Twitter were around at this time, the only thing it would have done is made the pain of knowing that Western Governments chose to ignore the mass-murder that was occurring, all the more difficult for those with a conscience to swallow.

  26. Francis Boyle

    The Twitter nonsense

    aside, he has a point.

    The Holocaust was made possible by the mass media, primarily radio. The Rwandan genocide was orchestrated via radio. It's in the nature of that medium to foster demagoguery. Now maybe it's in the nature of the internet to foster inanity but if a million people watching videos of dogs on skateboards are a million people not roaming the streets with machetes, I'll take that as some sort of progress

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Twit off Gordon

    So if we all Twitter "Gordon Must Call a General Election Now!" will it work!

    Will Gordon listen?

    Burn in Hull

    No worse place to be.

  28. iamapizza
    Dead Vulture

    Dear Reg Editors

    This article is insipid and extremely insulting - by running it, you're making light of the deaths of 800,000 people. I don't think you'd have quite the same attitude in running it if it were 800,000 Britons that were killed. It doesn't matter that someone else said it, you shouldn't lend any credence to it by running it. Simple as that.

  29. ffrankmccaffery


    Its almost as if im reading a headline out of private magazine here. This sham that they call the "green revolution" has all the hallmarks of the "orange revolution" in the ukraine which had the fingerprints of the CIA all over it.

  30. Anonymous Coward


    Avoiding history because someone might be offended ensures that history is forgotten even faster. You should be offended at the man they're quoting, not El Reg for writing a story about it.

  31. kain preacher

    just a few facts

    Rwandan genocide happened in 1994. Yeah the net was just starting . People were paying by the minute.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Think I just stepped into the twilight zone

    If this halfwit gets any further from reality he will be in a completely different dimension.

    The UK Gov knew exactly what was happening in Rwanda they chose to do fuck all about it because there was nothing in it for them. The only reason they marched into Iraq is because the country floats on oil, and Tony was so far up George’s arse you could only see his feet, WMD’s my arse. What about the atrocity’s in North Korea? Don’t see him doing anything about that do we?

    I wonder how many African friends he has tweeting him.

    Pull your finger from up your arse Gordon and stop talking like a fucking idiot. Who advises this man before he opens his trap and sticks his foot in it once again. Invest some of the money you are planning to spend on the national database and use to get some decent intelligence you fukwit.

  33. John Bailey


    So next time, instead of huge protests, we should all twitter to stop the tw*ts in charge from taking us into a pointless and ill conceived war. Gotcha Gordy. How about a myspace page for constitutional reforms too.

    Someone please take his internet away before he hurts himself.

  34. Mark C 1


    That's the worst comment I've red here .... best we don't discuss horrible things because it gives them credence? twunt

    Anything that points out the pointlessness of Gordo (and all of the others on all sides) needs airing

  35. iamapizza

    Oh please,

    Why don't we start quoting every celebrity and their misconceptions about technology then? People say stupid things all the time. As I said, your attitudes would be very different if it weren't 800K Rwandans killed. Think about that first before you reply. Seriously, think. Don't twitter it. Think about it.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Burning in hell

    "So if we all Twitter "Gordon Must Call a General Election Now!" will it work!

    Will Gordon listen?

    Burn in Hull

    No worse place to be."

    I don´t knoe the UK seems a bit worse than hell these days.... after all its full of englishmen and Phorm...

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Gordo and History

    So, Gordo thinks that all he has to do is wait until public opinion is so overwhelming before he sets up a Committee to enquire into the feasibility of putting together a Court of Public Opinion that will then do its work in private and publish the results on a Bank holiday Friday in the middle of summer.

    The idiot wants to go back to teaching, let him, as soon as possible.

    His degree is in history, so presumably he'll teach that.

    Oh wait...........

  38. TeeCee Gold badge

    What might have been.

    J.C. released from custody (filed 21/4/0031)

    Today in Jerusalem, Jesus Christ (31) was released from custody. Significant speculation that he was to be crucified for his work in undermining the Roman government led to a mass Twitter campaign for his release. The Roman authorities bowed to the vox pop and eventually released him on license, with the condition that he returns to Nazareth and refrains from any overt miracle working.

    The Roman Governor (P.Pilate - 57) said in a tweet today: "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy"....

  39. Ian 11

    I see Gordon.

    So is that why you're trying your best to control, monitor and censor internet in the UK then?

    Fucking hypocrit.

  40. jayeola


    What planet is he on? Oh yeah, Wesministeria. Nothing to do with planet Earth.

    - Iran has oil (hurrah) + nukes (scary) .

    -Rwanda has mineral resources (hurrah) and loads of Africans (meh).

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    erm your commenting to this story is kinda hipocritical then isnt it.

    and to be hohnest the way the goverment is going 800 people with machetes in the street might just put them on the right track .....

  42. cor


    Sorry, but this kind of nonsense just makes my blood boil.

    I was driving my car on a French motorway when the news broke of the 'clashes' in Rwanda. This mainly focused on evacuations of French citizens, but did report the violence in the streets.

    It took 7 weeks before the Western governments decided to react.

    Don't even get me started on Darfour.

    The comments of GB are an insult to every aid worker and journalist who has risked their own skin to witness and publish news of atrocities as they unfold.


  43. EdwardP

    Oh sweet irony...

    Of course, the brutal Rwandan massacre was only quite as efficient as it was thanks to the ID cards the citizens were obliged to carry at the time.

    70,000 dead.

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