Digital Vigilantism as Weaponisation of Visibility

Digital vigilantism is a process where citizens are collectively offended by other citizen activity, and coordinate retaliation on mobile devices and social platforms. The offending acts range from mild breaches of social protocol to terrorist acts and participation in riots. The vigilantism includes, but is not limited to a ‘naming and shaming’ type of visibility, where the target’s home address, work details and other highly sensitive details are published on a public site (‘doxing’), followed by online as well as embodied harassment. The visibility produced through digital vigilantism is unwanted (the target is typically not soliciting publicity), intense (content like text, photos and videos can circulate to millions of users within a few days) and enduring (the vigilantism campaign may be top search item linked to the target, and even become a cultural reference). Such campaigns also further a merging of digital and physical spaces through the reproduction of localised and nationalist identities (through ‘us/them’ distinctions) on global digital platforms as an impetus for privacy violations and breaches of fundamental rights.

Additional information can be found in the following open access papers 

Vigilant Audiences: An International Symposium on Scrutiny, Denunciation

by Department of Media and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam


Date and Time

Wed, Oct 3, 2018, 9:00 AM –

Thu, Oct 4, 2018, 12:30 PM CEST


Erasmus University Rotterdam

Van der Goot (M) Building, Room M1-17

50 Burgemeester Oudlaan

3062 PA Rotterdam

For more information follow this link