Here in the US we have “see something, say something.”
During the Cold War‘s “red scare” the FBI and local police went around photographing folks at gatherings and protests. Now, regular folks are crowdsourcing the identification of people who are involved in riots such as the recent riot after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup Finals. They’re using all the photos they can find from blogs, newspapers, from Flickr, from Facebook, from phones and the television news. And they’re using social networking to ID each rioter and “summarily executed,” reputation-wise. According to Poynter:
The Guardian reports that people identified in photos and videos have been “deluged by hate calls and threats” and fired from their jobs.
What do you think about such things? Are we helping over-burdened coppers bring anti-social hooligans to justice, is this social media vigilantism, or is this something a little more nefarious and insidious? Does the panopticon live? Is this Great Britain’s CCTV taken to the streets?
None of these questions are rhetorical.
On one hand, I think this is so cool but on the other hand, what of due-process, what of rule of law?
Witch hunts never really turn out the way you’d expect.