Friday, March 9, 2007

Bonus mission #1

From Wikipedia (Feb 2007), ‘personal sousveillance’ is where the mobile phone camera is categorized. Very serious surveillance is only for guards or generals interrogation.

A personal sousveillance clip I found on A guy was impersonating his other friends onstage. I gather that it is a club hosting a comedy show.

“Bullshitting…” was one of the jokes he made. It was hilarious and entertaining.

“The internet, however, is complicating our ability to negotiate the boundary between public and private, making it hard to recover a private self that has been voluntarily exposed” (2004). How do we know for certain that any of our moves made in public will not be posted on Youtube or someone’s blog? Some parties may be willing, but some may not be. This clip could be his friend who filmed him, or it could be a stranger. Then this got posted online. If the person had gone on to film the guy’s friends too, any viewer could piece together some information about their lives, like where they hang out, what they do for a living.

It would be positive if the man wants to be famous. His video could be viewed by some director or producer from the US or any large market. Talents nowadays post their own homemade MTVs. I read about a singer who marketed herself on youtube. She is now asked to perform live at her town.

But this video did not take into account how his friends would have reacted. They may be angry with him for impersonating them! The real mood is not captured.

On the negative side, sharing your feelings may not be the best way to recover from a crisis. Rosen (2004) said that a study of Vietnam soldiers wished they could be left alone when they were interviewed. I agree with this. When the news show, funeral proceedings are filmed at such close proximity! The mourners are already so grieved, should their grief be publicized? For necessary coverage, some little shots will do. But news reporters tend to zoom in that you notice every little detail.

It is unethical to film someone in the act of a private thing, like people crying or going berserk. The nanyang polytechnic video Tammy was memorable. Her friend was so jealous of her having sex with her boyfriend that she posted the video online. It was wrong of her to do that. It seems that the use of technology has stopped people from confronting their anger or sadness directly. She could have talked or vented her anger on Tammy first. Such a pity.

With such advancements in technology cameras and allowance of posting videos online, we should be moral and ethical in our usage of these. Unless people gave you permission that they want to be the next Superstar Idol, you should not take things into your own hands. The people who invented camera phones only wanted to economise the gadget and let us snap photos of our own peers.


Rosen, J. (2004). The Naked Crowd.

Retrieved March 9, 2007 from

Wikipedia:Sousveillance. (2007) Retrieved March 9, 2007 from

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