from offensive-charm-offensive department
Ring wants to bring you a cop show without most of the cops — “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” but all of the footage was recorded by Amazon’s home surveillance products. Here’s Deadline’s inadvertently cheerful report of Ring’s new charm offensive: one that he hopes will win hearts, minds and market share by showing America what kind of wacky footage can be garnered with cameras always on.
Wanda Sykes knocking on the door of syndication with a new series that features videos taken from Ring doorbells.
The series, which will launch on September 26, will feature viral videos shared by people from their video doorbells and smart home cameras.
It’s a TV version of a genre that’s increasingly going viral on social media.
The series will include clips such as neighbors saving neighbors, marriage proposals, military reunions, and silly animals.
Sounds fun. It also seems (as Deadline puts it) “synergistic”. By “synergistic”, Deadline perhaps means “opportunistic”.
Amazon owns both MGM Television and Ring. The show’s producers say the show will be “hilarious” and “uplifting” and will somehow bring families together by giving them a chance to bond over footage that doesn’t cost a penny to produce for the show. either of these entities.
What isn’t highlighted in Deadline’s article are the more problematic aspects of Ring and its absurdly close relationship with law enforcement. It also doesn’t highlight the problematic aspects of the two production companies that teamed up to bring “Ring Nation” to life. Meet Edward Ongweso Jr., reporter for Motherboard:
The show is produced by Amazon-owned MGM Television and Big Fish Entertainment, which ran another dystopian reality show: a piece of copaganda called Live PD that centered on commentary from crime footage.
According to Deadline, the show will feature light viral content captured on Ring cameras, such as “neighbors saving neighbors, marriage proposals, military reunions, and silly animals.” These types of videos frequently go viral online, but hardly represent the reality of using Ring. Besides home surveillance, Ring is a source of surveillance videos for law enforcement agencies in the United States and abroad.
A&E”Live DPwas a crime reality show that ran from 2016 to 2020. Following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the producers decided to pull the plug…temporarily. It seems the producers think America is ready for another crime reality show and brought him back (under a new name).
More problematic, “Live PD” destroyed footage of Texas deputies tasting a black man to death during an arrest. According to the show’s producers, this was not an attempt to destroy evidence. He pointed to his deal with the sheriff’s department, which allowed the show to destroy “unaired footage” after 30 days. The caveat was “unless necessary for an investigation”. Apparently, the sheriff’s department felt that this incident required no investigation. The end result was the indictment of Sheriff Robert Cody for tampering with evidence – something aided and abetted by “Live TV”.
Clearly, then, the new show will not air clips showing police officers engaging in wrongdoing that have been captured by Ring cameras. It won’t highlight Ring’s incredibly close relationship with law enforcement, which makes cops subordinate to Ring’s PR team and rewards them with cheap or free cameras to hand out to citizens with the implicit understanding that recipients will give cops access to footage without needing to seek a warrant.
It also won’t specify that cops can still access footage without a warrant or customer notification by going directly to Ring and asking it to search for footage stored in its cloud storage. He won’t mention the company’s experimentation with facial recognition AI and license plate reader capabilities. It certainly won’t show any of the “hilarity” that occurs when poorly secured home surveillance cameras are hijacked by malicious hackers. And it certainly won’t tell viewers or Ring customers that lawmakers and law enforcement officials are taking steps to turn private cameras into extensions of government surveillance networks.
No, it will be paid programming – advertising disguised as entertainment. It will be a detox for a company that wants to be a part of everyone’s life, but has chosen to focus on building partnerships with law enforcement rather than serving its end users. Hopefully this program won’t go anywhere soon, buried under a slew of much more interesting programs available just about everywhere.
Filed Under: live pd, ring doorbell, ring nation, surveillance, music video, music videos, viral videos
Companies: amazon, mgm, ring