In this article, we consider the power of the “Internet of things” and that of respectability policing. Our concern is the role of digital technologies in social stratification and neighborhood management. We begin by examining the use of ShotSpotter technology that provides audio detection of gunfire in (Black) neighbor-hoods and transmits the location of shots fired to police. We explore how ShotSpotter was used to investigate the murder of Janese Talton Jackson, becoming a tool of digital surveillance and discrimination in its monitoring of a Black community. We discuss how the discourse surrounding the murder of Jackson changed tenor from a most non-respectable, “just another” Black killing to a trending story upon the discovery that she was the sister of Ed Gainey, Pennsylvania House of Representatives (D). As such, in our article, we also take up the social construction of the non-respectability of Black womanhood and the effects of misogyny.
- Internet of things
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science