The Eye of Twitter | A5

Twitter in this day and age has become a very powerful social network in how it has hosted many social awareness movements and has put a bigger accountability to people of influence. As emphasized by Murthy “Twitter has simple yet powerful methods of connecting tweets to larger themes, specific people, and groups. This is a unique aspect of the medium.” (Murthy, 3).

Twitter’s tools such as the hashtag and the verified symbol are an important part of making this mass connection possible. The hashtag tool allows any person with or without an account to view and comment on tweets relating to it and it allows people to browse through each of them like tv channels and “If the channel piques your attention, you can stay tuned in.” (Murthy, 6). With that concept in mind Twitter accounts themselves can act as a TV channel that can be represented by a celebrity, official news channel account, organizations, and etc. What enforces this idea is the “verified” symbol that’s unique to Twitter which lets a person know the person/organization/etc is in fact who they say they are. Because of how public and accountable it is Twitter can serve as an example of surveillance.

Twitter’s ability to let us publicize our thoughts and to view other’s thoughts goes along with Lyon’s hypothesis that “….all sorts of watching have become commonplace within a ‘viewer society’…” and that “….things once ‘private’ have become open to the ‘public gaze’ of many”. (Lyon 36). And when it comes to the surveillance concepts of panopticon and synopticon Twitter serves as both. Take the Ferguson riots. Twitter becomes the few watching the many whenever it was being used by many journalists that live-tweeted their undercover coverage of the police brutality against rioting citizens. Panopticon is the reverse of this in how it spread rapidly across Twitter. Twitter became an essential part of exposing the Ferguson riots since it gave the public the opportunity to not only record but also view the first-person accounts of Ferguson that major TV news broadcasts couldn’t provide.

In our remix video will be emphasizing our argument of Twitter as a type of surveillance using the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. We’ll be taking the Eye of Sauron footage from Lord of the Rings and cutting in news videos of major Twitter scandals and movements. Our Eye of Sauron will become our symbol of surveillance and accountability because like how the Eye of Sauron keeps a constant eye of Mordor Twitter serves as the constant eye of injustice. Our Eye of Twitter video will be giving light to many events and scandals just like the Eye of Sauron lights Mordor’s intruders. The scandals and injustices we’ll show will include the police brutality at Ferguson, Glenn Beck favoriting a white supremacist tweet, the spread of the OU scandal and more. Below is a video that emphasizes the Eye of Sauron surveillance symbol by featuring a Leona Lewis song called “I See You”.