Skip to main content

Everyone hates this anonymous cameraman — but why?

Everyone hates this anonymous cameraman — but why?

Share this story

You're sitting outside a Starbucks when a man walks up to you carrying a video camera. He sits next to you, training his camera on your face, saying nothing. You ask why he's filming and he says, simply, "Why not?"

What do you do?

A YouTube account called "Surveillance Cameraman" has been exploring that question for years now, spread over eight videos, all of which have since been taken off YouTube. In general, the answer is "flip out." Nearly all of the encounters end with the anonymous Cameraman being chewed out, threatened, or physically pushed away. It turns out, people don't like being filmed without their permission.

But there's a larger point behind the stunt. In most cases, the people involved were already being filmed by a local CCTV rig — and with the rise of Google Glass and cop cams, we're adding more ways to film a person on the street every day. Should we be as mad about that footage as we are about Surveillance Cameraman? Or, in this case, is a stunt only a stunt?