Citizen, an app designed to bombard people with emergency and crime scene alerts in their area, has paid users to film its content.
The company has recruited “field team members” online vacancies, offering applicants $200 to $250 per day if they can track and live stream events in their area. These events can range from “a missing child, house fire, to anything else,” the list says, with employees expected to interview witnesses and police officers.
According to the list, “You have to be up and running very quickly, not only in terms of going live at moments that provide value to the users and support the mission of the app, but also be able to find and record interviews.” that contribute to the live stream.”
The vacancies were first noticed by the New York Post, but reports of paid Citizen streamers have been circulating for a while. The daily dot reported in June that a man named Landon was often streamed live from crime scenes in Los Angeles. Citizen confirmed to the publication that Landon was a member of his paid field team.
As a company spokesperson told the After“Citizen has teams in some of the cities where the app is available to demonstrate how the platform works and to model responsible broadcasting practices in situations where events unfold in real time.”
Burger also told Gizmodo that it has a total of 12 such “field team members”. It’s not clear where they are, but the job listings only list work in Los Angeles (10 hour shifts for $250 a day) and in New York City (8 hour shifts for $200 a day).
Citizen, which originally launched in 2016 as Vigilante being kicked out of the iOS App Store, describes itself as a ‘personal security network’. It generates location-based alerts for users by scanning police communications and preparing user reports. It tells users to “never approach a crime scene, disrupt an incident, or get in the way of the police.”
The company has been repeatedly criticized for encouraging mafia justice. In May of this year, Citizen’s own CEO authorized offering users a $30,000 bounty if they could locate a man accused of starting a wildfire. The man’s name and image were shared on an official live stream on the app, with hosts encouraging viewers to “go out and bring this man to justice” and “hunt this man”. But the person was wrongly accused and later acquitted by police, who said The citizens’ actions had been potentially ‘disastrous’.
The company seems determined to be more than a passive spectator or source of information. As first reported by Motherboard in May, Citizen tested its own private security forces, in which Citizen . patrol cars that would respond to user requests.