Digital devices like smartphones and wearable sensors are becoming ubiquitous in our society. Accordingly, user-generated content on social media, user-fed mobile apps and services, are now part of our new digital everyday. From citizens to first responders and police officers, everybody can record videos, keep track of behaviors and access online services on the run. This information comes to (over)populate a new landscape that public and private authorities have to deal with.

During this seminar we aim to discuss how institutions working with risk management, prevention, policing, and communication to the public, cope and make sense of this avalanche of user-generated online content. We focus on three increasingly overlapping practice: social networking, hacking and policing. Looking at these three together allow us to pose the questions of who are understood as users, and what are the differences between various users. The following questions will guide our discussion: How does user-generated content and online activity reshape risk communication? How does it produce new risks, or new perceptions of risk? But also, who are the users generating and contributing with new digital info, and are all "users" equal before public and private authorities? What new roles, social interactions, and expectations do these digital platforms lead to?

The seminar starts with the following presentations, followed by a panel discussion:

  • Welcome and introductory remarks, Rocco Bellanova (PRIO)
  • On using body-worn video-technology to encourage reflection and experiential learning in police education, Joshua Phelps (Norwegian Police University College)
  • On "sousveillance" and the public's recording of police activities, Samuel Tanner (Université de Montréal)
  • On digital vigilantism as a user-led form of risk communication, Daniel Trottier (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • On hacking and different understandings of risk and value, Mareile Kaufmann (University of Oslo/PRIO)

A light breakfast will be served from 08:00.

The seminar will be followed by an end-user workshop (10:30-13:00 including lunch), discussing these issues further with practitioners working with different forms of digital platforms in risk and crisis communication. If interested in participating in this event, please contact:

The seminar is part of the DIGICOM project, funded by the Norwegian Research Council's SAMRISK programme.