Every little helps? Youtube, sousveillance and  the ‘anti-tesco’ riots in Stokes Croft Dr Paul Reilly University of Leices...
Sousveillance and social media: <ul><li>From French word sous (below) and veiller (to watch) – ‘inverse surveillance’ </li...
Background: Stokes Croft, Bristol <ul><li>Mission statement states of People’s Republic of Stokes Croft ( PRSC):it will “s...
Controversy over policing of riots: <ul><li>”  Yesterday there was a very real threat to the local community from the petr...
Research Questions & Method : <ul><li>What themes emerge from the videos uploaded to Youtube by those who witnessed the St...
Videos of events posted on Youtube: <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpPM2NXLK-c </li></ul>
Hierarchical sousveillance: <ul><li>Call to ‘Film Everything’ during kettling </li></ul><ul><li>Videos show other eyewitne...
Personal sousveillance/citizen journalism: <ul><li>Factchecking – interviews during and morning after e.g. squatters, chro...
Comments: Key themes <ul><li>Criticism of rioters (cost to tax payers, their background, efficacy of tactics) </li></ul><u...
Conclusion: <ul><li>Both personal and hierarchical sousveillance evident in the videos posted on Youtube </li></ul><ul><li...
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Stokescroft

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Powerpoint presented at BSA Media Studies Group New Communications and Demonstrations, University of Leicester, 13 July 2011.

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Stokescroft

  1. 1. Every little helps? Youtube, sousveillance and the ‘anti-tesco’ riots in Stokes Croft Dr Paul Reilly University of Leicester [email_address]   New Communications and Demonstrations, British Sociological Association Media Studies Group University of Leicester 13 July 2011
  2. 2. Sousveillance and social media: <ul><li>From French word sous (below) and veiller (to watch) – ‘inverse surveillance’ </li></ul><ul><li>Concept developed by Mann to explore potential use of wearable computing to empower users (1997, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Two forms: personal (first person perspectives on life) and hierarchical (recording authority figures and actions) </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 social practices (e.g. use of smart phones to access social media) generate “intensification of sousveillance’ (Bakir, 2010) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background: Stokes Croft, Bristol <ul><li>Mission statement states of People’s Republic of Stokes Croft ( PRSC):it will “seek to generate an ethos of sustainability, both in its business practices, and in its approach to every aspect of the development of Stokes Croft” </li></ul><ul><li>Survey in March 2010 shows that 93% of local people oppose opening of Tesco store </li></ul><ul><li>Tesco receives planning permission to open store on Cheltenham road on 8 December 2010 </li></ul>
  4. 4. Controversy over policing of riots: <ul><li>” Yesterday there was a very real threat to the local community from the petrol bombs that were being made and we needed to take positive action [….] The fact that we seized petrol bombs illustrates the seriousness of this situation and the reason why we took this positive action” </li></ul><ul><li>Assistant Chief Constable Rod Hansen, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, 22 nd April . </li></ul><ul><li>“ The police tactics were unfathomable. They seemed to consist of running from one end of Stokes Croft to the other (and up several side streets), randomly charging about the place, getting more and more people involved and moving the violence into new areas that had previously been quiet.” Eyewitness/local resident Bristol Indymedia, 22 nd April </li></ul><ul><li>:, </li></ul><ul><li>

 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Research Questions & Method : <ul><li>What themes emerge from the videos uploaded to Youtube by those who witnessed the Stokes Croft riots? Does it correspond to hierarchical or personal sousveillance? </li></ul><ul><li>How do audiences (commenters) respond to these videos? What themes characterise these responses? </li></ul><ul><li>N= 52 videos, 1018 comments (from four most commented upon videos) </li></ul><ul><li>Critical thematic analysis of videos and comments – repetition, recurrence and forcefulness (Orbe & Kinefuchi, 2008; van Zoonen et al, 2010; Grace Antony & Thomas, 2010) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Videos of events posted on Youtube: <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpPM2NXLK-c </li></ul>
  7. 7. Hierarchical sousveillance: <ul><li>Call to ‘Film Everything’ during kettling </li></ul><ul><li>Videos show other eyewitnesses recording police actions on their mobile phones </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on police presence in area e.g. line of riot police, convoy of vehicles, helicopter </li></ul><ul><li>Five videos appear to show unprovoked attacks by riot police on two men </li></ul>
  8. 8. Personal sousveillance/citizen journalism: <ul><li>Factchecking – interviews during and morning after e.g. squatters, chronology </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on bystanders at street level e.g. saxophonist, busker, people dancing </li></ul><ul><li>Footage from windows – ‘people watching’ </li></ul><ul><li>Could be argued that all these videos constitute acts of citizen journalism that demonstrate the characteristics of sousveillance. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Comments: Key themes <ul><li>Criticism of rioters (cost to tax payers, their background, efficacy of tactics) </li></ul><ul><li>A boycott or peaceful protest would have been far better </li></ul><ul><li>It was a substance fueled riot. Not an ideologically fueled_ one </li></ul><ul><li>Police response (disproportionate, robust enough?) </li></ul><ul><li>Yep I hope the police officers pay for_ their brutality </li></ul><ul><li>Look at countries like Italy and France, they shoot people with jets of water which send you flying. Our country really needs to shape-up </li></ul><ul><li>Support for ‘People Power’ </li></ul><ul><li>This is ART, it is beautiful democracy in action, it is empowering, engaging, an_ image of solidarity and people power. Go On YE!!!!!!!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Why Tesco? (Tesco tax avoidance, threat to local business). </li></ul><ul><li>Tesco's mindset of social theft with the long term_ result of turning communities into depersonalized ghost towns must always be challenged. 
 </li></ul>
  10. 10. Conclusion: <ul><li>Both personal and hierarchical sousveillance evident in the videos posted on Youtube </li></ul><ul><li>Study suggests that these videos could be considered records of citizen journalism informed by sousveillance techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Comments left by Youtubers show sympathy for the police and criticism of rioters but, Youtube is also a space for some users to negotiate the meaning of these events </li></ul>

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