People from across Canada saw the video in July of how an indigenous man was treated at the Canadian Tire in Regina and were outraged at the injustice.

“They didn’t even know me,” said Kamao Cappo, the subject of the controversy, surprised at all the support.

Posting a video online is quickly becoming the way to get instantaneous support in a dangerous situation. We all saw the video of a doctor who was forcefully removed from an overbooked airline flight.

Most people feel that having a video removes the issue of who to believe about what happened. They can see the event for themselves and can judge who they feel acted poorly. This popular response would not happen without the easy photography and Internet access our technology supplies and the folks doing group posts and referrals on social media.

I believe this is an unforeseen effect of our cell phone technology. Cell phones were always seen as a good safety measure because you could call for help from anywhere. But the implication was you had to know someone who would come to help. Of course, you could call 911, but it is not always a police matter and sometimes (like those mentioned above?) the people involved think that the police might not be on their side.

In the case of the doctor, he did not post or even take the video himself, but we all noticed the support he got. In the Canadian Tire store Cappo, obviously thought he would be safer if there was a video of the events that he could see were about to happen. It says a lot about the situation and how often these things happen that he knew to press the record button.

Of course, the video is not the best angle to see all that is happening. And we never know all the events that happen before or after the clip of video we see. But it is a good start to ensuring a fair discussion. Posting a video for the public to see as a way to have safety was not likely anyone’s intention as various technologies converged to create smart phones.  The social effect of so many people showing support would have been difficult to predict.

As Information Technology professionals that helped create these data networks and flexible operating system platforms and amazing social media apps, we must also help to ensure the environments we create are good for society and good for individuals. Are we happy that online videos are a good defence for people in danger? We must also be aware of the 80 Ontario arrests regarding Internet child pornography in April 2016. The down side of online videos has a big head start on its benefits.

It is important we understand what we are creating and what we can do to ensure the tool is used for defense and is not a danger to the children.

 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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Donna Lindskog
Donna Lindskog is an Information Systems Professional (retired) and has her Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Regina. She has worked in the IT industry since 1978. Most of those years were at SaskTel where she progressed from Programmer, to Business Analyst, to Manager. At one point she had over 48 IT positions reporting to her and she has experience outside of IT managing Engineers. As a Relationship Manager, Donna worked with executive to define the IT Principles so departmental roles were defined. As the Resource Manager in the Corporate Program/Project Management Office, she introduced processes to get resources for corporate priorities. In 2003 she was given the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Technology.