CMC Brownbag presents Prof. Christine Cox

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Written by CMC-ORP posted on Friday, March 11th, 2016

CMC Brownbag presents Prof. Christine Cox

Digital Vigilantes: Online Shaming and Surveillance Culture in Top Gear Philippines’ Facebook Page

1:00 – 2:30 pm, April 26, 2016 at the CMC Auditorium


A franchise of the highly popular motoring magazine based in the United Kingdom, Top Gear Philippines (TGP) is the number one source when it comes to two or more-wheeled vehicles. Launched in September 2004, the TGP Facebook page aimed to complement the motoring reviews and stories from the magazine, and provide an online venue for its avid followers. The page has since then evolved into a ‘Sumbungan Ng Bayan‘ where ‘errant parking maneuvers and wayward traffic enforcers get a dose of Social Media Flogging’ (Gonzalez, 2014). Ordinary citizens can post photos of motorists who park illegally or foolishly, upload road rage videos or rant about run-ins with the law and corrupt government practices. Many of these posts have gone viral in social media, where they are fair game to commenters and trolls in the Filipino community.

Using a critical lens and borrowing from the ideas of Michel Foucault about power relations and punishment and Fredric Jameson’s concept of high-tech paranoia, this paper argues that the TGP Facebook page has transformed into a radically new site of ‘crowdsourced’ forms of social norms and punishment for civic deviance and transgressions, introduce

Coming greater capacities for negotiation, resistance, power and control in the digitally-mediated surveillance society.


CHRISTINE R. COX is a full-time faculty member of the Communication Research Department of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UPCMC). She handles various communication and media courses in the undergraduate levels, including Introduction to Communication and Media, Communication Theories, Media and Society, and Project Development.

She completed her Masteral Arts in Communication degree in the Ateneo de Manila University, where she also taught several courses in Research Methods and Information Society as lecturer of the Communication Department. She is currently completing her coursework for her PhD in Communication from the UPCMC. Her research interests are in the area of cultural studies, political communication, social development, and new media.