digital vigilantism

Digital Vigilantism

The Editors

Digital vigilantism refers to “an emerging practice whereby citizen’s use of ubiquitous and domesticated technologies enable a parallel form of criminal justice.” Digital vigilantism is characterized by “a sense of moral outrage” and “a general sense of offence taking” (Trottier, D. (2016). Digital Vigilantism as Weaponisation of Visibility). 

Vigilantism is something that people have done all throughout history, fighting crime with their own beliefs on what is wrong and right. However, the information technology of contemporary globalization has brought about new dimensions.  Digital vigilantism relates to a public that unites on virtual networks and puts in a joined effort, or crowdsources, in order to find justice. 

Digital vigilantism



Digital Vigilantism: Justice for a Syrian Refugee Family

Noa Reijnen
10 minutes to read

A story about a Syrian refugee family being terrorized by their neighbors went viral on social media, and people demanded justice for the family. This digital vigilantism case will be analyzed in this paper.

How Madeleijn van den Nieuwenhuizen is changing Dutch media from within

Lola Vos
12 minutes to read

Through digital vigilantis, media critic Madeleijn van den Nieuwenhuizen shares mistreatments in the Dutch media on her Instagram account "Zeikschrift." In this article, I analyse her Instagram account and the message it conveys.

Joe Biden wins 2020 presidential elections with the help of black voters

Joe Biden, George Floyd and #BLM: how Biden won the race for presidency.

Nikki Lavrijssen
20 minutes to read

This article demonstrates how presidential candidate Joe Biden profited from George Floyd's death and the consequent rise of the #BLM movement by using the situation to win over Black voters.  An analysis of his tweets reveals how he did this.

Calling out the homofobus

Ania Borkusewicz
14 minutes to read

This article explores both offline and online responses to the Homofobus protest van in Poland and how these responses interact. 

Digital vigilantism in Vietnam: the case of Patient 17

Linh Tran
14 minutes to read

In March 2020, a Vietnamese woman tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. It seemed like this was a mere infection, but it creates a digital vigilantism case mainly on Facebook among Vietnamese people.

The Notre-Dame fire

The Notre-Dame fire and digital vigilantism

Iris Dumoulin
13 minutes to read

The whole world was watching when one of France's famous landmarks was the victim of a major fire. On April 15, 2019, the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral suffered a terrible tragedy. What role did social media play in spreading the news?

Handing out the pitchforks: BuzzFeed and mediated digilantism

Astrid Fokkema
15 minutes to read

'Digilante' BuzzFeed posts shows how the news outlet taps into the anger of the crowds to mediate digilantism. Readers are invited to participate in online shaming but also prove to be critical of BuzzFeed as a normative power. 

gravedigging, digital shaming, digital gravedigging, social media celebrities

Online gravedigging, identity and privacy

Mingyi Hou
11 minutes to read

This article analyzes gravedigging as a digital practice, and illustrates its roles in online shaming and celebrity image management activities.

Digital vigilantism

Digital Vigilantism - Open Lecture

The Editors

On Saturday 27 October 2018, Dr Mingyi Hou will give two short lectures on 'Digital vigilantism' (11:45u and 16:00u) Are you interested in digital culture? Thinking about going to university next year? Then make sure that you get the taste of it.

Protestscapes and the art of protesting in Romania

Ioana Pisaltu
16 minutes to read

In this article I introduce the concept of "protestscape" as a language of mobility that employs rich semiotic resources within the context of protest. In doing so I focus on the anti-corruption demonstrations in Romania (January - February 2017).

doxing, doxxing, hacking, online communities

Doxing and online communities

Fleur d'Hollosy
11 minutes to read

Describing how quintessential characteristics of globalization can facilitate in the phenomena of doxing. 

Social Media enabling vigilante justice

Roeline Machiels
12 minutes to read

The justice system is there to ensure that people don't start acting as vigilantes. However, due to social media these kind of acts have increased again. This essay will discuss how online vigilante justice interferes with the law enforcement.

Film camera

Back to No Style: A journalistic low point from PowNed

Roeline Machiels
4 minutes to read

Recently, Roeline Machiels came across a video from PowNews. The clip was about one of their interviewers being hit by a woman at the Anti-Trump demonstration in The Netherlands. Machiels adresses PowNed about their journalistic low point.