This ground-breaking collection of essays examines the scope and consequences of digital vigilantism – a phenomenon emerging on a global scale, which sees digital audiences using social platforms to shape social and political life. Longstanding forms of moral scrutiny and justice seeking are disseminated through our contemporary media landscape, and researchers are increasingly recognising the significance of societal impacts effected by digital media. The authors engage with a range of cross-disciplinary perspectives in order to explore the actions of a vigilant digital audience – denunciation, shaming, doxing – and to consider the role of the press and other public figures in supporting or contesting these activities. In turn, the volume illuminates several tensions underlying these justice seeking activities – from their capacity to reproduce categorical forms of discrimination, to the diverse motivations of the wider audiences who participate in vigilant denunciations. This timely volume presents thoughtful case studies drawn both from high-profile Anglo-American contexts, and from developments in regions that have received less coverage in English-language scholarship. It is distinctive in its focus on the contested boundary between policing and entertainment, and on the various contexts in which the desire to seek retribution converges with the desire to consume entertainment. Introducing Vigilant Audiences will be of great value to researchers and students of sociology, politics, criminology, critical security studies, and media and communication. It will be of further interest to those who wish to understand recent cases of citizen-led justice seeking in their global context.
Ever since the exposure of the Kitten Killer of Hangshou captured the imagination of online communities world-wide, vigilantism and digilantism has come to the fore as an emerging and poignant issue. In their book Introducing Vigilant Audiences Daniel Trottier and colleagues (and contributors) have produced an excellent and throughtful ‘must read’ for all who are studying vigilantism, or just interested in it.
Prof. David Wall
University of Leeds
'Introducing Vigilant Audiences' does a great job of delivering on the promise to introduce the relatively novel topic of digital vigilantism and its breadth of application to contemporary readers. With its twelve chapters and array of authors from across the globe, it is packed with relevant case studies that provide evidence of the recurrent dynamics that such vigilantism creates, and of the diverse forms it may take according to the different contexts in which it is practiced. The richness of empirical examples makes this edited book a fascinating read and reduces the need for prior familiarity with theories in this field (which makes it suitable for undergraduate students). While I believe this book may be interesting for many scholars of racial and ethnic studies, social movements studies, and technology and society, surveillance scholars in particular can benefit from it by learning how surveillance practices are used in order to promote social and political goals.
Shaul A. Duke
"Review of Trottier, Gabdulhakov, and Huang’s Introducing Vigilant Audiences". Surveillance & Society (1477-7487), vol. 19, no. 1, 2021. doi:10.24908/ss.v19i1.14477
Notes on Contributors
‘For the Greater Good?’ Vigilantism in Online Pop Culture Fandoms
Contesting the Vulgar Hanmai Performance from Kuaishou: Online Vigilantism toward Chinese Underclass Youths on Social Media Platforms
‘I don’t think that’s very funny’: Scrutiny of Comedy in the Digital Age
Criticism of Moral Policing in Russia: Controversies around Lev Protiv in Moscow
Far-Right Digital Vigilantism as Technical Mediation: Anti-Immigration Activism on YouTube
Empowerment, Social Distrust or Co-production of Security: A Case Study of Digital Vigilantism in Morocco
‘This Web Page Should Not Exist’: A Case Study of Online Shaming in Slovenia
‘Make them famous’: Digital Vigilantism and Virtuous Denunciation after Charlottesville
Doxing as Audience Vigilantism against Hate Speech
Citizens as Aides or Adversaries? Police Responses to Digital Vigilantism
More Eyes on Crime?: The Rhetoric of Mediated Mugshots