Last week, the New York Times reported that Océane, a young French woman, narrated and filmed her death by throwing herself under a train. The entire episode was posted on Periscope, a live-streaming app owned by Twitter. Excerpts were run later on YouTube.
Also according to the Times, last month two French teens assaulted a 24-year-old drunk in Paris and later posted – again on Periscope – images of them laughing and bragging about the assault. And in Ohio, a 17-year-old-girl filmed an alleged rape committed on a girlfriend and not only did not intervene but filmed the event and streamed a video of it, too, on Periscope.
Other than being shocked and outraged, what are we to make of these disturbing events?
Well, Thomas Husson, a Paris-based technologist at Forrester Research, says this (also quoted in the Times): “We now live in a dictatorship of real time.” By which he meant largely that a world in which everything is broadcast instantly, without perspective, is changing the very nature of what we know and how we know it.
We now live in a dictatorship of real time?