After the Dallas Police Department asked people to send videos of “illegal protest activities” that took place in the city over the weekend using a special application called iWatch Dallas, K-pop fans flooded content software with their favorite artists and apparently overloaded the reporting system in the process.
The day after the Dallas Police Department tweeted about the initial request, a confirmed secondary tweet “Due to technical difficulties, the iWatch Dallas app will be temporarily suspended.” The responses to the two tweets are a mix of clips from various K-pop groups performing, from games like Animal crossing, animated GIFs, and other pop culture references that call for demand and later celebrate the broken application.
Buzzfeed News reported that a number of star ratings appeared on the app’s landing page in the Google Play and Apple App Store markets. These criticisms were accompanied by hashtags for Black Lives Matter and abbreviations like ACAB, which means “all the cops are bastards”. It is unclear whether traffic from the viral movement, which started on Twitter, resulted in the application being blocked or whether the police deleted the application after the increase in activity made it almost impossible to use, Buzzfeed News reported.
Pressure to undermine relationship efforts against protesters comes as police across the country have erupted into violence against protesters protesting police brutality following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a former police officer in Minneapolis last week. Protests in New York, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Dallas, Oakland, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Seattle and other cities have resulted in mass arrests and countless cases of violence against demonstrators and members of the press.
As protesters continue to rally, some people are creating apps and programs that allow sharing of images and videos while taking steps to protect individuals from doxxing and other retaliatory measures. One tool scrape image metadata and allows selective blurring and blackening of parts of the image to help protect protesters from the various surveillance tactics that can be used by law enforcement.