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If You’re a citizen that is good Delete the Citizen Policing App

Some 200,000 Philadelphians are reported to be utilizing it. But crowdsourcing real time footage of criminal activity scenes does not turn you into a superhero — it does make you a voyeur.

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The resident software encourages users to live-stream footage from criminal activity scenes. Picture by Caroline Cunningham.

Virtually every tale in regards to the crime-reporting software Citizen begins the way that is same. The author informs, in great information, about a few crimes which were simply committed. The author does know this perhaps perhaps perhaps maybe not from beating pavement, or from riding shotgun close to an officer; in reality, to paint this portrait of criminal activity in the populous town, we soon learn, the journalist didn’t have even to go out of your house!

The trick behind the sleight of hand could be the application, which sends notifications, and quite often live crowdsourced video, to nearby users whenever a 911 call states an so-called criminal activity impacting safety that is public. The philosophy of this application, which established in Philly in April of a year ago and today has (in accordance with the business) significantly more than 225,000 neighborhood users, comes right down to this: The most readily useful shield against criminal activity is information. Armed with that, individuals understand when you should steer clear. But Citizen sends an additional, conflicting message: in the event that you don’t would you like to avoid, could you mind shooting some video clip associated with real time criminal activity scene?

Much more means than one, Citizen suffers from a split-brained identification crisis. Continue reading