A Chinese man was beaten to death after using his camera phone to record protests of residents in a rural village in China who were upset about the government’s decision to establish a garbage dump near a residential area, according to The Guardian.
Wei Wenhua, the general manager of a company owned by the local water resources bureau, was pulled from his car and beaten by chengguan, enforcers who are paid by local governments to deal with crowds, the article says.
For years I have written in this weblog, been quoted in the press and spoken at conferences about my fears that people taking camera phone photos and videos of government activities would be killed, maimed and/or jailed. It has begun to happen.
Prediction coming true
Because camera phones are becoming so ubiquitous, consumers are increasingly likely to record newsworthy events, often before professional journalists and photographers. Some people will knowingly risk their lives to take photos and videos of government abuses, military actions, demonstrations and other potentially dangerous situations.
The bad news is what I predicted years ago is happening. Camera phone users are being hurt or killed. The good news is consumers with camera phones are making it much more difficult for miscreants to hide what they’re doing.
This always-connected wireless imaging revolution is still in the early stages. We are just beginning to see, for example, live streaming broadcasting from cellular phones, that I’ve written about in my mobile television weblog and in one of my weekly mobile communications “Thinkernet” columns (see below) for CMP’s “Internet Evolution.”