SOCIAL IMPACT LIVE: Digital Arrest: Online Policing of Youth of Color

October 7, 2020 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm

Event Organizer

CSSW Communications


In the attempt to show the all-pervasiveness of racism in our society, a group of social scientists and activists have begun collaborating with storytellers, creative technologists, and data scientists to create immersive experiences of racial injustice. In this episode of Social Impact LIVE, host Richard Hara (bio) sits down with CSSW Associate Professor Desmond Upton Patton (bio) and GS sociology student Jarrell Daniels (bio) to talk about a virtual reality (VR) experience the two have created to show how law enforcement officials are using online surveillance to identify young Black and Latinx men as gang members. Their project, known as Digital Arrest, is housed within Patton’s SafeLab. It is based on Daniels’ personal story of how, when he was just 17 years old, prosecutors used his Facebook and Instagram accounts as evidence to help convict and sentence him to six years in prison. Patton and Daniels will also discuss their plans to raise funds for the project’s next iteration.

As preparation for the show, we recommend watching this video:

*Links to Facebook LIVE sessions are not generated until the event has started. Register to receive a reminder as well as a link to the stream shortly after the program begins (the link isn’t generated until we go live). Alternatively, you can go to CSSW’s Facebook page at noon. The stream will appear as the first post on the page.


Please contact Thank you for being part of our Facebook LIVE series focusing on research and practice with social impact at CSSW and the wider community of Columbia University. We hope you’ll become a regular participant.