I know that it is quite futile to expect much from local
gossip, I mean, “news” stations in general, but some stuff still gets to me – like the case of a man licking a doorbell for three hours, turned into “eyewitness news” by ABC7 Los Angeles (I’m deliberately not placing a direct link here), after it was first reported by KION 5/46. How that is “eyewitness news”, or even newsworthy at all, is completely beyond me – but hey, anything to drive some clicks and get some pennies from banner ads, right?
It would seem pretty clear that the man in the video quite possibly has a problem that places his behavior a little bit outside of our societal norms.
The question is whether we need to give in to the instincts of an 8th grader – but just look at the number of retweets, and the hooting hordes of commenters on Twitter about the doorbell licking man, and you know the answer.
It’s clear that expecting to find basic human decency and respect on Twitter is just as in vain as hoping for actually newsworthy reporting from local gossip stations (“find out more after the break!” – “no, not yet, after the next break!”) – but do we just have to accept that? A disturbed person becomes the center of high school jokes because it’s easiest to prey upon the “freaks”, the vulnerable in society.
This is where we’re (still) at. And I know we’re all hypocrites and often act inconsistently to anyone who doesn’t see inside our brains (in other words: everyone else). We’re complex and no two of us are alike. We weigh things differently depending on our mood and time of day, perhaps even the phase of the moon, or who knows what else. I get the attempt at humor of course – but if you’re upset about a president who mocked a disabled reporter in public and aren’t upset about the Twitter hordes cracking jokes about this man who licked a doorbell, then I for one lack the understanding for this particular instance of your hypocrisy.
It does make me wonder why people who are worthy of our compassion, attention, care or at least pity aren’t protected from the public and the relentlessly exploitative media better – yet the article only speaks of “doorbell licker victims” and neighbors who have “never seen anything like this” (can we show them a video from inside a slaughterhouse that “processes” cows and pigs perhaps?). The incident was in the middle of the night and in winter too, but there’s no word, no question about what could be the problem of this poor man.
The statement “This just kind of reinforces how important it is to have security within your home” is simply ridiculous: without their f%$#%$ Ring doorbell, they wouldn’t even have known that anything happened.
Talking about Ring though, one has to wonder what the bigger problem here is: a man licking the doorbell – or Ring developers having access to the complete video material?! Quote:
Beginning in 2016, according to one source, Ring provided its Ukraine-based research and development team virtually unfettered access to a folder on Amazon’s S3 cloud storage service that contained every video created by every Ring camera around the world.
Read the article if you’re interested – because that’s not even the worst of it (the videos were linked to actual customer accounts, ie. the data was not anonymized).
In the meantime, I go back into hiding under my rock…
PS: what are the implications of devices like the motion-activated Ring video doorbell in an age of privacy concerns? Shouldn’t the users of a Ring doorbell have to post a mandatory “video surveillance” warning at a safe enough distance from the door? Do they not have to post a GDPR-compliant privacy notice as well? Should we all wear ski-masks from now on when we approach someone’s door if we don’t want to end up in a video on Amazon’s servers?