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Agneta Mallén

Agneta Mallén

Senior Lecturer

Agneta Mallén

Virtual punishment in the making: When citizen journalism enables processes of shaming and online victimization


  • Agneta Mallén

Summary, in English

Film clips and still pictures captured by civilians, or citizen journalists, are increasingly used as evidence by judges or the police to prove specific accounts of events. This kind of visual data is, however, not without problems. The aim of this paper is to analyse how viewers perceived a mobile phone film clip as naturalistic data, enabling processes of shaming and eventually a ‘justice’ process on the Internet, including virtual punishment of the person filmed by the photographer. In the clip, a taxi driver records video of an agitated female customer whom he hinders from leaving the taxi. The film is then distributed on YouTube, where it attracts remarkable negative attention. However, the film clip is only one of several possible accounts of the filmed incident, as demonstrated by the police report about the incident as an alternative account showing that viewers cannot rely on the citizen journalistic film clip as objective, naturalistic data.


  • Sociology

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper


  • Law and Society


  • Criminology

Conference name

Nordiska samarbetsrådet för kriminologi. Konferens Island 2016.

Conference date

2016-05-01 - 2016-08-03

Conference place