This morning, Limit published a story about how Citizen – an app that seems to encourage vigilance to justice – encouraged users to hunt wrong person and presumably to bring them to justice, on the erroneous assumption that the person had started a 1,158-acre Palisades fire in Los Angeles last week. The company offered a $ 30,000 commission.
Now we learn that the same company is apparently going to offer its own private security forces to users, according to a new report Motherboard.
In fact, one Citizen-branded patrol car has already observed in the wild:
MotherboardHowever, the report goes further, digging into internal documents and talking to former employees describing a “privatized secondary emergency network” that would respond to the application user’s request. So far, it looks like Citizen has agreed to this success, both for the well-known private security provider Securitas and – in the picture above – for Los Angeles Professional Security.
The citizen confirmed Motherboard that it tested, at least internally, a “personal rapid response service,” suggesting that it can be as simple as escort service users call if they are afraid to walk home late at night.
But the history of the app – which was originally launched as Vigilante in 2016 – not to mention the idea that this company is apparently willing to encourage users to hunt suspects for money, suggests that this business could be … a little problematic?
Social networks and applications such as Nextdoor and Amazon’s ring neighbors have already been thoroughly criticized for harassing people’s fears by encouraging them to report suspicious activity in their neighborhood, normalization of controland unfairly targeting neighbors on the basis of racial bias. Combine that with a company that might encourage users to take the right into their own hands, which doesn’t look good.