Big Brother Sounds So Much Cuter With The Voice Of A Local School Kid

from the child-abuse dept

Security cameras are just about everywhere, and it’s pretty well known that you shouldn’t expect much privacy in any public space. Still, it was a bit surprising last year to find out that officials in the UK were experimenting with security cameras that would also scold people, if it spotted them littering or some other form of public nuisance. Apparently, however, the program has been a success, and there are plans to use these scolding surveillance cameras in 20 additional areas throughout England. However, to make the systems seem more friendly, they’re talking about holding contests for local school children to become the “voice” of the surveillance cameras. Apparently, if you make it into a game, you can hope that kids will accept the concept of “Big Brother” at a young age.

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Comments on “Big Brother Sounds So Much Cuter With The Voice Of A Local School Kid”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: From the 1984 dept..

Well, the whole concept of the 1984 world was to indoctrinate from birth and encourage children to report on their parents, neighbours and just about anyone else.

So, his vision was even more sinister.

Can’t wait ’till my monitor is telescreen for the government to watch and hear my every move.

Answer Back says:

Why not the voice of 'Punch'

So not only do you get a one way scolding without recourse or even a chance to state your side, you get it scolded from a child because the observer won’t even use their real voice?

Maybe they should use the voice of ‘punch’ of punch and judy fame?
“don’t kick the bayyybey”
“that’s the way to do it”
“park there and I’ll feed you to the crocodile”

No, no, that’s not patronising enough. How about the voice of Nanny Blair? He’s so much better than everyone else, his voice is perfect for patronising people from aloft.

Nanny Blair is such a twat, we should have a loudspeaker and camera outside number 10, and every time his government does something really twatty, we should be able to berate him over the loud speaker, in a fake childs voice.

“All men are created equal, you twat Blair, and everyone deserves a chance to state their side an argument to a human being.”

Two says:


“but how many sides to a story can there be for leaving a soda can on a park bench?”

Two. Yours and their’s.

Only arrogant people think they are so totally right the other side doesn’t get to speak.

Who says *they* left it? You from a far vantage point? What if someone else left it and you observed the wrong person?
Who says they *left* it? Or forgot it? Or left it to save a baby drowing in the pool? Or left it as a placeholder while they put litter in the bin.
Who says what *it* is? It’s a soda can, it’s a glass with coins for hobos, it’s a shiny bench reflecting like a shiny soda can. A bomb? It’s an improvised paperweight holding down an important document against the wind?

There are always different sides to everything, the person observing *may* be wrong.

Here, not only is that person elevated to an infallible god dishing out criticism to mortals on the ground, they don’t even do it in their own voices. They do it in patronizing and demeaning child’s voices.

The infamous Joe says:

What if.

What if’s are a silly way to prove a point, but that’s beside the point.

The simple fact is that if you think you are being incorrectly blamed for said can, and you are too stubborn/proud to pick up someone else’s can, ignore the voice and continue walking.

Again, it’s a dumb idea, but only because it’s not going to work well (people will more likely than not just ignore it), not because the possibility of being asked to throw away someone else’s can, maybe, if it’s foggy and the camera is dirty and the person who actually left it was a midget who was below the view of the camera. (which was actually a paperweight holding down important documents while I left to save a drowning baby) 😛

Hillary "Ramrod-them" Clinton says:

The real Big Brother

The true form of “Big Brother” will manifest itself when I and my Democrats introduce legislation to make certain words illegal. It will sound like a good idea at the time, but soon more and more words, all for apparently noble reasons, will make the list. Then we will outlaw – not ban, there is a difference – large groupings of words. We won’t outlaw books – that would be wrong – but if a book bears any similarity to the contraband word-groupings then it would have to go.
Soon thereafter we’ll seize oil company profits, increase taxes to support our massive government, and you will be left completely at our mercy – because we know that you can’t think for yourself – and you will thank us for making the world kinder to the underprivileged, the downtrodden, little bunnies, etc.
Of course, you won’t personally know anyone receiving our help, and you won’t be able to physically locate a single person benefiting from our myriad social programs, but that won’t bother you since you will know in your heart of hearts that we, the government, like an elder sibling, are looking out for your best interest.
And if you don’t feel like thanking us it won’t matter since we’ll have outlawed just enough language to prevent you from complaining.

P.S. I’m also planning to re-write the tax code in AAVE. That should make it much easier to understand.

FH Harris says:

Re: The real Big Brother

Of course you wont know anyone benefitting from any social programs. Those kid of people arent allowed in your neighborhood. Oh and isnt it the religious right that wants to ban words and “groups of words” (something similiar to books). ANd we sure dont want to take any money away from the jail and prisons that hold all those pervert drug users.

Resentment says:


“The simple fact is that if you think you are being incorrectly blamed for said can,”


” and you are too stubborn/proud to pick up someone else’s can,”

If the camera told you to walk off a cliff would you do it? Or are you just to stubborn/proud to obey instructions from a camera with a fake childs voice? You adding an insult as though its my fault the camera is wrong does not make the talking camera more right.

“Again, it’s a dumb idea… because …people will …throw …the camera …at….a midget who was below …a paperweight “

Dude, do you know how dumb I can make you sound by string together selective quotes from what you said?

I guess your point was that scenarios that have the observer wrong are far fetched. However they are not, they are common. The observer is only human.

Again, the problem with this is it’s one sided, and hence unreasonable and hence would breed resentment. Police find they got more respect when they went on the street and talked to people (rather than riding around in panda cars) and it’s the same here. It’s attempting to fix minor social ills, but in a way that will simply make them worse.

All very Nanny Blairish.

The infamous Joe says:

If if ifitty if.


*If* a talking camera told me to walk off a cliff, I would probably decline– and depending on my mood, it could be quite similar to haywood’s method to decline. However, there was the if again.

The sad state of the world (though it’s comforting to see the UK is getting just as bad as us in the States) is that people need to be spied on and reminded to clean up after themselves and other such “minor social ills” instead of just doing it. I may be kinda messed up in the head, but I have no problem not tossing my trash on the ground (though my car’s back seat is fairly cluttered as a result) or even picking up trash I see lying about. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t go too far out of my way to clean up after someone else, but if I am sitting at a bench with someone else’s can left abandoned, I’ll toss it in the nearest trash can when I get up and leave said bench. All that, without cameras that talk.

And, if someone walked up and said “Hey pal, don’t forget to throw away your can before you leave.” I could spend a minute trying to clear my now soiled name to this stranger, or I could just throw it away, which, oddly enough, would be the nice thing to do anyway.

But all that was written because I’m kind of bored at work– the best reason that this is all a bad idea is because it leads the way to bigger, badder things. Instead of getting friendly (maybe?) reminders to be a good boy and clean up after yourself, it will be an order to pick up your trash and a ticket and a fine. And after your 3rd littering infraction, a little jail time. I can see this allowing things to get way out of hand. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that.

haywood says:

Re: If if ifitty if.

As annoying as all this is, I’d like to have some method of getting people to put their damned shopping carts away. A scolding won’t work, I’d be happy to offer a good ass-kicking, but that probably wouldn’t even work. Fer Christs sake people, the exercise would do you good. I tend to clean up after myself, + a little extra to offset the lazy and stupid people, but it is getting epidemic, the few unpaid planet organizers are losing the battle. I doubt many of us will want to live in the chaos that results. A field trip to the ghetto might be in order for training purposes.

ImPeachMelbaBlair says:

Ifs & Parliament

Resurrecting my previous suggestion:

We could have one of these cameras in the houses of parliament. When they’ve finished debating something we could turn on the loud speakers and people could take turns berating the MPs for anything bad they’ve done in the debate. In disguised childrens voices naturally. Same for number 10.

Of course we would only allow normal sensible people access to the microphone. The kind of people who could also get elected to parliament, because all men are equal and putting them behind a one way camera and one way microphone couldn’t possibly have any negative effects.

Nothing could ever go wrong there, and if it did the politicians, they could always ignore the instructions from the camera.

Yes, I think that’s a good idea, if it works in the park, it should work in Parliament.

JoeJ says:

If if ifitty if

So it’s a bad idea, but the best reason for it being bad is *if* it leads to a ticket, fine, jail time, etc?

Just pointing out that you are using *if* arguments too… you’re just wording them so as not to use the word *if*. 🙂

Playing Devil’s Advocate here (I don’t like the idea of these cameras either.) I wonder how different your worst case scenario is than the already implemented cameras at traffic lights? These cameras *can* send you a ticket if you run a red light without hearing your side of the story.

What *if* no one else is at the intersection, and *if* I have someone in the backseat having a heart attack? What *if* my car will blow up if my speed drops below 60 mph? (What do you do?)

The camera doesn’t care about my side of the story, and will still send me a ticket. My recourse? “Tell it to the judge.”

I guess the only difference in these two scenarios is the severity of the potential consequences (running a red light, vs. littering.)

But let’s say the camera is placed in an area known for violent crime. The camera then catches a mugging or a rape in progress. The camera voice could alert the mugger that the police are on the way and cause the mugger to flee before the victim is hurt further. The camera footage could then be used to help identify and prosecute the attacker. (See, I use the words “might”, “may” and “could” instead of “if”.) 🙂

Kind of an off-topic argument I guess, but at least as plausible as the midget defense. 🙂 Any thoughts?

(Note I’m intentionally ignoring the topic of using a child’s voice for the camera… which is just plain silly.)

resist or die says:

from the Fuck That dept.

Nevermind vandals ebaying the cameras, how long ’til we see camera jammers for sale? There must be a way to do it…

And with enough of them operational, finding/removing the jammers would be completely impractical and therefore the entire programme would collapse.

With any bloody luck, anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: from the Fuck That dept.

Nevermind vandals ebaying the cameras, how long ’til we see camera jammers for sale? There must be a way to do it…

And with enough of them operational, finding/removing the jammers would be completely impractical and therefore the entire programme would collapse.

With any bloody luck, anyway.

Yeah, there are camera jammers but they’re illegal. They’re called armor piercing rounds.

Overcast says:

The true form of “Big Brother” will manifest itself when I and my Democrats introduce legislation to make certain words illegal. It will sound like a good idea at the time, but soon more and more words, all for apparently noble reasons, will make the list.

hehe, it already is… I’m sure you could find many words already considered ‘hate speech’.

Problem is – once you start regulating speech at all, it will just snowball out of control.

There’s really no gray area with free speech. You have it – or you don’t.

ASBO says:

You're asking for an ASBO

“Don’t forget: there’s always the finger to give the camera!Unless you haven’t got one.:(“

Well thats an ASBO straight away. Any other crimes you care to commit netizen? Nanny Blair is watching you.
[wags-finger at you in non threatening way so as not to cause ‘distress or alarm’ from anyone nearby and get an ASBO from Nanny Blair].

Joe Fan says:

Other Offenses Too

I agree with The infamous Joe and I’m sure there are many other offenses this could work well for also.

For instance, I am offended by the sight of people with obviously poor fashion sense out in public. A good scolding in a child’s voice along the lines of “Hey you by the light pole, don’t you know those pants went out of fashion 2 years ago?” would probably help to beautify the UK.

And obesity is a major problem these days leading to higher health care costs for us all. A child’s voice publicly scolding people for being overweight would certainly be in order for the public good.

The possibilities are endless!

Mainer says:

Sorry, you Brits deserve it

You Brits are too polite for your own bloody good.

You seem to have become a nation of pussies. You can’t own guns – who let that one through? You’re chided and scolded through life by your Nanny State – and you love it – the governemnt provides for all.

Get off your lazy arses and kick the bastards out before it’s too late.

FriendOfLiberty (user link) says:

Brainwashing for the 'masses'.

The only relevent point on this matter is that it’s not the governments’ job to prevent every single little ‘wrong’ from happening. Why do so many people seem to think that the gov. is the solution for EVERYthing that can happen that SOME people term ‘bad’. The most important point. is that this form of coercion (sp?) is brainwashing….yes, brainwashing. It puts you in the mindset (framing) of being a child and being scolded by your parent (Big Brother). The gov is established by the peoples, not the other way around. With gov as parent, you are created by them…and can be ‘un-created’. Don’t underestimate the power if this simple form of brainwashing.

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