Authorities in the western world are clamping down on social networking, with the UK jailing two Facebook posters and wireless connectivity being cut off in the US in an attempt to prevent social unrest.

In the UK, two men who posted Facebook messages encouraging people to riot – although failing to incite any violence – were yesterday sentenced to jail sentences.

Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan were both arrested for posting pages that appeared to organise riot events in their home towns of Northwich and Warrington. IN Blackshaw’s case, only the police turned up, and Sutcliffe-Keenan took his page down within hours.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, a protest on the subway system led to authorities shutting down wireless communications in an attempt to prevent further unrest.

Critics have likened the move to an Internet shutdown in Egypt earlier this year when authorities cut off communications so protestors wouldn’t be able to schedule events.

Authorities from the Bay Area Rapid Transport (Bart) system in San Francisco justified the move on the basis that it prevented a repeat of the protests that had shut some stations the day before.

Officials said they reserved the right to do it again if the situation called for it.