UK Neighborhood Captures Litterbugs on Film

A neighborhood in Leicester, England had an entire YouTube channel dedicated to neighborhood issues, including catching "litter louts". As BoingBoing point out, this is a fine example of citizen surveillance. This case study also fits very nicely into our discussion of soft enforcement and sousveillence for conservation (it might also spawn a discussion about rights to privacy). The neighborhood has provided an email, and if someone knows the litterers in the videos they can email to alert the neighborhood management board.

More like this

This is neat. Where'd you hear about it?

Science is cool.

Back in the early days of the internet, a bunch of geeks in Silicon Valley started something similar for bad and aggressive drivers.

Ultimately, in the US, this kind of thing is usually shot down because of privacy issues.

What is needed is a pack of rabid litterer attack dogs.

There is no right to privacy on public land (except for what's hidden under your clothes). Streets are public land. Therefore, people who break the law by littering and then whine about being filmed can shut up, or at least whine in the actual privacy of their home while paying their fines.

Good for these people for taking the initiative to keep their streets clean.

By Uncephalized (not verified) on 01 Jul 2009 #permalink

This is basically Big Brother. Good intentions, but further down a neurotic pathway to a very boring and repressed world, to the point where people are terrified to appear out in public places because they know they are being studied. It's getting out of control in the U.K. I don't want to be part of a world where you can't even spit on the ground without somebody recording it on video and showing it to the public.

By Randy Olson (not verified) on 01 Jul 2009 #permalink

Randy: I don't want to be part of a world where you think it is your right to spit on the ground.

There's nothing wrong with the recording of actual crime, the problem lies when people are in trouble for other people assuming they are thinking about crime, or for expressing discontent with the current government or what-have-you.

By Katherine (not verified) on 01 Jul 2009 #permalink

I don't want to be part of a world where you can't even spit on the ground without somebody recording it on video and showing it to the public.

If you're doing it in public, it's a bit late to be worrying about that, isn't it?

Spitting in public is not a crime, but it could very easily be some day if enough people stare at enough video footage of it and work themselves into a rage over the public health risks of it and the fact that it's just plain disgusting. This is the very thing that the right wing fears about the environmental movement -- that well-intentioned people will lose control of themselves and create a nice, clean and tidy world of total repression. Human nature involves a certain amount of ugliness and bad behavior. It's called natural variation. If you think you can totally suppress that, well ... good luck!

By Randy Olson (not verified) on 02 Jul 2009 #permalink

Its an interesting idea. I would be rather nervous to employ this as an option until all other means had been explored or until the issue was extremely problematic. In the case of this video it appears that it is not a passive system recording images but rather a person controlling the camera. If this is the case why not form a neighborhood patrol of sorts with people who actually interact with people, etc. It is my understanding that such human presence is a much better form of prevention (instead of enforcement in this case). But I guess that begs the question if guilt is employable as a preventative measure or simply after an undesirable behavior is exposed.

Ironically, I believe this very issue is mocked in Simon Peg's "Hot Fuzz" movie from a few years back. Never thought is was a real issue, but I guess satire doesn't work so well without real life experiences.

I am agree with the overall sentiments of Randy. Fine line between lawful and repressive at moments. Makes me wonder how far I should go in pushing people to create the world I want versus the world I need?

Internet socialization behavior mitigation.

Welcome to our âNEWâ and very complex world:

A parent slaps their four year old child across the face while on a public sidewalk to mitigate the childâs unruly antisocial behavior. The child then screams in pain at being slapped, and becomes even more unruly while the parent becomes angrier and more frustrated at not being able to control their child...

This parent and child interface is captured on a mobile phone video camera by a nearby passing observer and the content is then posted on the Internet and becomes a lightening rod for divergent camps on the rights of parents and or children in the context of the complex issues of raising children properly or not.

Is this a private or public issue?

This parent believes it is their right, and personal will to introduce physical conditional socializing punishment upon their offspring. So, do people (Internet viewers) not personally involved in raising this child have a social, and or legal right to participate in this situation?

Some people believe that corporal punishment should be illegal. Should this child be turned over to the Department of Human Services, after video evidence is forwarded to them?

Some people believe that certain levels corporal punishment of children is perfectly normal and is essential in raising children. Should this parent sue the video poster for invasion of privacy, even though this event happened upon public domain?

Does the Internet social body have a right in judging this situation? Should the Internet social mind intervene? Will the Internet mind become a factor in the implementation new laws and the enforcement of these new laws?

Do we users of the Internet comprehend the massive implications involved in the potential altering of boundaries of social privacy, transparency and rights or wrongs through Internet policing?

Yes, this is definitely juicy and I mean this in a way that does not mean casual contemplation! Our precepts of how our socializing process has functioned is in for a radical overhaul.

I wonder if this is how the Borg civilization came into being as a civilization social structure that was completely connected by technology, and all behavior was integrated and mitigated through technological computer connectivity? Sometimes referred to as the âHive Mindâ or the âUnity Mindâ theories of human potential evolution, or will our social evolutionary connectivity be purely biological, and our socializing happen in different ways.

This is a highly provocative, and essential potential social evolutionary adaptation discussion. The mindful idea of right or wrong, private versus public behavior is a social construct, and it is about to change in a radical massive transformation. This idea of private versus public behavior has been changing at light speed for the last twenty years since the introduction of the WWW. I like to call it the WWM, the World Wide Mind. The transparent world, and personally I am watching and questioning closely as our new world views develop...

I also have to say, the thought brain storming arriving to this place is mind blowing.

Thank you!

This does seem like an abuse of state power to fight a pretty trivial problem. Not every little issue deserves to add to the growth of a police state.

They are British... thats why they are doing it. Won't happen in America, thats why we had a revolution.

This does seem like an abuse of state power

Except that it's got nothing to do with the state. It's just local people filming stuff and putting it on YouTube. The only way to stop that would be to use the power of the state to ban people from using video cameras in public, which would be an abuse of state power.