SURVEILLANCE- global phenomenon
The surveillance becomes a global phenomenon nowadays; when you own a digital device, which means you can monitor others. The surveillance uses as different purposes, such as military, business, and personal. I have heard a phenomenon that called “human flesh search” few years ago. It describes a joint effort by numerous of online users to retrieve information in a cooperative manner in China (Chen& Sharma, 2011, p. 50). Some people believe human flesh search helps to fight for illegal behaviour. Chen and Sharma pointed out some benefits of human flesh search; one of the examples in their article is the case of “Kitten Killer” on February 2006, the Internet users collect data to help track down incident location, killer’s identity, film shooter and video maker (2011, p.56). In this case, the Internet participants used their “righteous” way to find out the offender.
Nevertheless, the human flesh search brings a lot of drawbacks to society. One of the problems is privacy issue; when Internet users put an individual’s data online and then the individual’s private information can be found easily, such as name, home address, marriage history and so on (Chen& Sharma, 2011, p. 56). It actually invades personal privacy and violates the law. Another serious problem is the human flesh search involves physically or verbally violence. Once the public believes the suspects’ behaviour is unacceptable then they may use the private information (e.g. email or Facebook account of suspects) from Internet to verbal abuse them, which is similar to cyber-bullying. Some radical people may go to the suspects’ living place and assault them.
Actually, there is not right or wrong answer to use the human flesh search, because moral judgment is different to everyone. Therefore, we have to pay attention to our ‘words’ and manners, because sometimes they hurt others.
Chen, R, Sharma, S 2011, ‘Human Flesh Search — Facts and Issues’, Journal of Information Privacy and Security, vol.7, no. 1, pp.50–71