What are the privacy implications of the MBTA releasing that video?
The level of outrage might be justifiable if the tape was released for the express and sole purpose of embarrassing the woman. However, given that it's pretty clear that it was released to back up the warning to "not ride your frigging scooter on the frigging escalator!" I think there was a genuine public interest reason for the release.
a)She's not personally identified anywhere, and the video is quite blurry.
b)She violated MBTA rules, scooters are banned from all escalators everywhere - not to mention she stepped way outside the bounds of common sense.
c)She's in a public space and has no reasonable expectation of privacy.
d)There are warnings EVERYWHERE that escalators and elevators are under surveillance, and cameras such as this are not covert.
If you don't want to end up on the evening news looking like a complete dumbass idiot, don't act like a complete dumbass idiot.
You have got to be kiddung? A public service announcement to tell passengers not to ride a scooter on an escalator what's next.
Warning during rush hour perverts pole dance
Warning elevators are not a urinal
Warning do not ride the escalator of death
Warning leaving your bike at Alewife will ensure that it gets stolen
Warning if ten kids dressed in hoodies and mask follow you out of the station its not a good sign
Warning do not expect your train to be on time
Warning out stations are saunas and our air conditioning is broken
Warning next year the fare hikes will be double
Nobody uses that tired old "danger will Robinson" thing anymore. It's not funny, and not at all clever.
way funnier then what you said.
Maybe I would recognize her if she came crashing down the escalator at me. So I'm not convinced showing the video really outs her particularly. And I agree there's a public interest argument here - arguably a greater public interest than in all those videos of people falling on the tracks.
She's in a public place she has no expectation of privacy. And since the video contains no sound it doesn't run afoul of Massachusetts zany wiretap laws (or do those only apply to folks recording cops?)
The issue is not one of legality: as others have said, the T is a public space and there is no privacy expectation. (Though, funny how that works when some T employees insist you stop recording.) The issue is more of whether someone at the T should released the footage. The video does not show any particular heroism in the part of fellow riders, as has been the case with some of the videos of passengers falling onto the tracks and others fetching them. And I question the public service aspect of it. The subtext of the "don't ride your motorized scooter on escalators" aspect almost seems to be, "or else you'll be like this stupid woman here, and look what happened to her."
The video shows people responding immediately after the incident occurred with an MBTA employee being the second to arrive and trying to turn off the escalator as soon as quickly as she could. It's good to show people responding quickly even if it isn't a death defying rescue.
I would be opposed to releasing the video if the woman was seriously hurt or if it showed people just standing around an laughing without helping, but this isn't the case. The MBTA is right not to identify the woman.
Has society come to the point where passengers rushing after a woman who has just fallen down an escalator and a transit agency worker hitting the STOP button are newsworthy? Do we see videos every time a passenger gives up his or her seat for a pregnant woman or an elderly rider?
The woman might not have been identified, and the camera is too far to really see her face, but it still must be mortifying to her to have the video of such an incident widely disseminated.
Beyond the "OMG, look what happened to this stupid woman" factor, I still see no point in the T having released the footage.
I am sure all of us have done some real stupid things in our life (and which, by the way, were not caught on camera!) How many of us have been on "auto-pilot" and have done something really dumb? I would dare say all of us.
Obviously, she thought she could make it up to the top and that the escalator step would not flip the chair over. I am glad she was not hurt.
The only reason the video was released was to make fun of her and the incident and that is so wrong.
“It was released to demonstrate the consequences of ignoring the rules pertaining to escalators,” MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said of the transit authority’s decision to post security camera footage on YouTube. “Strollers, scooters and wheelchairs are prohibited. An elevator is about fifty feet from this escalator at Broadway Station.”
Suppose it was a drunk passenger standing too close to the edge of the platform, and the passenger is hit and killed by an oncoming train. Would the T release the video to show the perils of standing too close to the edge?
And the do, almost every time a drunk falls on the tracks.
No, they never release footage from intentional or accidental deaths out of respect for the dead. If this woman had crushed her neck when she rolled over and died, I'm betting this footage never would have made it out the door.
So suppose the woman was psychologically traumatized by this incident, which was then compounded by the T making it available for worldwide viewing (360,000 views at last count).
Did anyone at the T contact the woman before releasing the footage? Or was the internal dialogue, "Look, Homeland Security just gave us millions for new cameras. And here's a great example of what these cameras can capture. Let's release the footage."
People seem to think that both embarrassment and offense are mortal wounds now.
I have the right to embarrass you. I have the right to offend you. You have suffered no real damage as a result of these 'wounds.'
Gee, thanks Mr. Pesaturo. Every time the gif of this poor woman taking a tumble (over and over) shows up on someones facepage and/or blog, we all learn a lesson.
I still stand by my original post.
A tumble for your Tumblr.
For example: People who use mobility aids often have other issues that require medications that might mess with their heads: chronic pain treated with opiates, neurological conditions requiring neuroleptic medications, etc.
There was a time in my life where I was on opiates for a constant and intractable pain issue (since resolved through surgery). I wasn't operating a scooter, but I did do some pretty hairbrained things that, fortunately, didn't have these sort of consequences.
I suspect there is a bit more than a simple brainfart going on here - and, for that reason, this shouldn't be pushed out there like it has been. Instead of marvelling at the lack of judgement here, consider this: a whole lot of people like her drive when impaired by medication instead of take the T.
How long before this video ends up on Tosh.0?