Sousveillance newsroom, 18 September 2020

On 18 September 2020, the Doc Media Centre hosted a sousveillance newsroom.

Dr. Aliaksandr Herasimenka (Oxford Internet Institute) spoke about his ongoing research on how digital media is used by activists in Belarus. He has provided expert commentary on how Telegram and other digital media platforms have been used in the recent protests against President Alexander Lukashenko.

Aliaksandr Herasimenka talking to John and I about the protests in Belarus

In a wide-ranging discussion, we discussed the role of women in the protests and how activists have used digital media to record and share experiences of heavy-handed policing.

For more on Aliaksandr’s work, please check out his list of recent media appearances here and follow him on Twitter

Jenny Hayes (University of Sheffield) spoke about her PhD research on how NGOs have used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to distribute evidence of Israeli brutality against Palestinians in the Middle East.

Jenny Hayes taking about her research on Palestinian sousveillance

Jenny has written a blogpost about her project and you can follow her on Twitter

Many thanks to Aliaksandr and Jenny for speaking to us at the first Conflict Reportage newsroom at the Doc Media Centre. We look forward to following your work in the future!

Resource List

The Doc Media Centre will be curating resource lists for each themed newsroom. Here are are some resources relating to sousveillance.


First, we have this video from the ‘father of sousveillance’ Steve Mann, in which he discusses the Veillance society and the evolution of wearable computing.

Here is another video in which Dr. Anders Sandberg (Oxford University) explores the differences between surveillance and sousveillance.

Dr. Alissa Richardson (USC Annenberg) speaks here about her research on Black Witnessing and recent Black Lives Matter protests in response to the killing of George Floyd


Black Lives Matter have used social media to focus attention on violent police attacks against Black communities since 2014. Probably the most comprehensive study of BLM was conducted by Deen Freelon, Charlton D. McIlwain, and Meredith D. Clark. Hashtag Activism by Sarah Jackson, Moya Bailey and Brooke Foucault Welles is also available open access. We also recommend recent work by Allissa Richardson, Mia Fischer and K. Mohrman, and Yarimar Bonilla and Jonathan Rosa.

I have written extensively about sousveillance over the past decade. For instance, I have studied YouTube footage purporting to show police heavy-handedness during the ‘Battle of Stokes Croft‘ in 2011. My most recent work has focussed on how social media was used by loyalist protesters to highlight alleged police brutality during the 2013 union flag protests in Northern Ireland. I have also commented on the recent BLM protests and the potential use of social media to highlight racist policing in the United States.