Citizen App Adds 24/7 Safety Experts, Raising Questions About Disaster Voyeurism, Vigilantism

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 (Getty Images, Cindy Ord / Staff)

The Citizen app, which, like Nextdoor, has been blamed for inciting vigilantism, recently launched a private service of on-call safety experts that users can contact 24/7 for help.  Called “Protect,” this service monitors a user’s location, connecting them with a Citizen employee who can decide to bump the situation up to a 911 call.   We’ll hear about the new frontier of safety apps and why critics say these crime and safety-reporting apps promote harassment, racial bias and over-surveillance.


Nicol Turner Lee, director, the Center for Technology Innovation, The Brookings Institution

Matthew Guariglia, policy analyst, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Heather Kelly, technology reporter, The Washington Post