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« Thank god for cameraphones, please spread story of abusive London Underground Man called "Ian" | Main | Now we know who moved my cheese, or half of it - Apple iPhone is stomping »

October 16, 2009

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Berend Jan Hilberts

Tomi, I agree with the outrage about the incident. However wanted to offer up couple of 'philosophical' counterpoints that I have not heard yet coming back in the discussion:
1. we all make mistakes from time to time - Ian did on tape, you did, I did. Most of these mistakes go unnoticed by camera and people can move on. Ian does not have that opportunity now that he has become a public symbol/target of a universally disliked anonymous authority (The London Tube).
2. This Ian guy is now nailed against a public wall of shame without being given the opportunity to defend his side of the story (what did the elderly man say to him? could have been innocent or horriblly insulting for all we know) and or explain his behavior (he just heard he was terminally ill and was taking it out on somebody? - probably not, but we don't know, that is the point).
3. The populace as big brother? The flip side of your argument is that we as a people empowered with camera's, youtube, etc. can use this not only for charitable causes (as this probably is), but also for much worse (crowd-paperazzi-ing is one I can think of quickly, but there are probably more). Where is the balance, the editing, the voice of reason in this if we all decide to film and post something that appears out of the ordinary and point the world's attention to it?

cloud64

Hi Tomi

Further to my Tweets to yourself.

Possibly you are seeing a conspiracy where none exists. I would expect that it is Transport for London (TFL) policy to not allow unauthorised video recording on their property. Though I can't find any policy relating to casual filming, you certainly need a licence for commercial shooting:
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/termsandconditions/10950.aspx

Such a policy is not uncommon, and I have certainly encountered it on Network Rail run stations (UK overground service) – media students have been asked to stop filming at my local station and informed they need permission.

If such a policy exists the woman would only have been doing her job by making a request to stop filming. Note: there's no intimation in the reports that her request was anything other than polite.

Moving onto to the bigger question about using our technology to film such incidents, it would be easy to follow the knee jerk reaction that in this case it was 'obviously' a good thing. I have some sympathy with this view but feel it is far from black and white, and is rather a very complex issue with no easy answers.

In the UK we complain about the excessive use of CCTV cameras by the government, being one of the world's most watched nations. We complain because we find this obtrusive and somewhat creepy, not to mention that studies suggest it does not work to reduce or solve crime. We do not like being treated like criminals by default.

If we turn this around, and it's us with the cameras filming the authorities, is the position morally any different? Does an individual going about their everyday job deserved to be filmed in case they make a mistake or commit an unfortunate verbal slip? Just because they work for something perceived as an 'authority' of some sort? Would you like someone filming over your shoulder when you make an error at work or lose your temper at someone else's incompetence (if anyone says they haven't done this I cry 'lier', even if they've not done it to the individual's face).

I believe it is important that people of all walks of life are held responsible for their behaviour, and we should especially expect good behaviour from those whose job it is to ensure our good behaviour. By the very nature of their jobs they should be held to a higher standard, the police in particular. Any double standard on their part seems more grievous because of this, but does it give us the right to employ a double standard right back at them?

I won't propose any answers because I don't have them, and am not arrogant enough to suggest my view might be the 'right thinking' one. I will say that, in this case, I am glad that the filming has resulted in a complaint against the ill behaved individual. But I also have some sympathy for him: for all his demonstrated faults, is public exposure and International vilification a just punishment for his misdemeanour? This is the sort of exposure that can lead to someone ending up in front of a train, at their own hand.

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I won't propose any answers because I don't have them, and am not arrogant enough to suggest my view might be the 'right thinking' one.

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About the incident in London Tube. I have heard about it but there was some additional information. As far as I remember this guy was a lil bit rude too.

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If we turn this around, and it's us with the cameras filming the authorities, is the position morally any different? Does an individual going about their everyday job deserved to be filmed in case they make a mistake or commit an unfortunate verbal slip? Just because they work for something perceived as an 'authority' of some sort? Would you like someone filming over your shoulder when you make an error at work or lose your temper

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Such a policy is not uncommon, and I have certainly encountered it on Network Rail run stations (UK overground service) – media students have been asked to stop filming at my local station and informed they need permission.

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Such a policy is not uncommon, and I have certainly encountered it on Network Rail run stations (UK overground service) – media students have been asked to stop filming at my local station and informed they need permission.

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I won't propose any answers because I don't have them, and am not arrogant enough to suggest my view might be the 'right thinking' one.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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