Citizen Surveillance

I tend to agree with Stephen Downes that there is nothing wrong and much to be admired in the use of social media to record criminal acts and bring the perpetrators to justice. And I particularly object to Alexandra Samuel‘s apparent agreement with referring to those who do so as “douchebags”. But the line between bringing to justice and punishing by public censure can be important if there are either possible mitigating circumstances and/or the censure remains public record for an excessively punitive duration, and/or when the behaviour is offensive to some but not illegal,and so on. As one who generally favours open access to information I tend to have little time for privacy concerns but I have to admit that sometimes they do have a real basis and the question of how to address them deserves some serious consideration.

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