Trouble on Facebook


Facebook is causing trouble left and right these days.

Londoner Mathew Firsht  is suing a former friend for creating a damaging false profile that revealed private details and wrongly indicated that Firsht was gay. Another woman, Kerry Harvey, has recently started receiving phone calls from strangers because they saw a fake profile that described her as a prostitute and gave out her private number.
Of interest to us at the Adam Smith Institute among the Facebook scandals is the recent alcohol ban in Torbay due to a "night of mayhem" beach party that is being advertised via Facebook’s event application. When officials caught wind of the event, which has over 7,000 confirmed attendees, they declared that as soon as the location is specified all pubs, bars and retailers in that area will be banned from selling alcohol.

Shutting down a region during the busy summer holiday weekends will be very damaging to business. And it's not just this constraint on trade that is worrisome. Intervention of this scope by the government is unexpected and unwarranted. While there are legitimate concerns for safety, forcing businesses to shut down a key aspect of their commerce is not the way to handle it. By all means be prepared to have extra security at hand or keep the number of people at a reasonable capacity, but imposing regulations on businesses that have every right to operate seems an unacceptable form of intervention. It sets a dangerous precedent.