Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Someone Is Always Watching.

After last fall and news from Iran its no surprise the power Twitter has had on politics world-wide. Another case of a tweet that has had immense power locally is that of user @OGLE_Toronto who on Friday posted a TwitPic on their Twitter account of a sleeping Toronto Transit Commision ticket collector.

In effect, this tweet has become a lightning rod for transit riders frustrated with the TTC and has sparked a media controversy.

The responses have been mixed, with that of the TTC Workers’ Union stating that:

it is “disturbing” that a transit rider snapped a photo of what appears to be a sleeping ticket collector instead of checking to see whether the worker was okay.

While Adam Giambrone, head of the TTC has created a “blue-ribbon task force” to propose ways to improve the commission’s customer service. However somehow, this controversy seems far from over.

As Mashable says:

The world is changing because of social media. Information can be spread in real-time to millions of people. It’s the same power that has helped raised millions for Haiti and forced big companies to listen to their customers.

But personally I seek very little solace in the lesson we might learn from technology as being that ‘someone is always watching.’


  1. Every person in a small town knows (iow – most people throughout history) that everything they do or say will be known to everyone else immediately.  Metropolis has brought (it now appears, temporary) anonymity.

    While personally I wouldn’t be against sailing through life with the ability to disappear at will and avoid being held accountable for my actions (particularly the stupid ones), I think there is potentially something to be said for the whole thing.  I hope so, at least, because there that genii is never going back in its bottle.

  2. HappyinVT

    It’s one moment in time with no context.  It certainly appears that the dude is sawing some serious wood and, maybe, catching some flies.  But does the guy deserve to have his picture plastered all over the Internet?  Is he sufficiently embarrassed enough to make sure he never falls asleep on the job again?  It’s bad enough he sits in a fishbowl for, presumably, eight hours.  You could argue that, because he is paid by tax payer dollars, we deserve to know what our employees are doing; I can’t argue much against that but I guess the whole thing just makes me incredibly nervous.

    That’s why I sit behind two locked doors at work.

  3. Charles Lemos

    are rolling out drones for police work.

    CCTV in the sky: police plan to use military-style spy drones.

    Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the “routine” monitoring of antisocial motorists, protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.

    The arms manufacturer BAE Systems, which produces a range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for war zones, is adapting the military-style planes for a consortium of government agencies led by Kent police.

    Documents from the South Coast Partnership, a Home Office-backed project in which Kent police and others are developing a national drone plan with BAE, have been obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act.

    They reveal the partnership intends to begin using the drones in time for the 2012 Olympics. They also indicate that police claims that the technology will be used for maritime surveillance fall well short of their intended use – which could span a range of police activity – and that officers have talked about selling the surveillance data to private companies. A prototype drone equipped with high-powered cameras and sensors is set to take to the skies for test flights later this year

    Britain is already the world’s most watched nation with over 4 million cameras already installed. The average Briton is captured on film over 300 times a day. And there is no indication that these CCTV cameras have any impact on crime.

    And BAE Systems, Europe’s largest weapon manufacturer, is planning on exporting the technology. Its exhibit at the recent Dubai Air Show began the marketing for the BAE Mantis UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle).

    Coming to a street corner near you: Dubai 09: BAE flies Mantis UAV.

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