03:55 GMT +314 October 2019
Listen Live
    Mobile app Periscope

    Periscope of Problem: French Inmates Stream Live Videos From Behind Bars

    © Flickr/ Jim Makos
    Get short URL

    Being in jail doesn’t mean one has to miss out on social media; on the contrary, with the use of modern online applications, prisoners are becoming pretty popular bloggers, the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur (L’Obs) reported.

    Most inmates in French prisons, apparently, own cell phones with which they access the Internet and social media websites. In Baumettes prison in Marseille, for example, between 70 and 80 percent of inmates have cell phones, the magazine said.

    Periscope and Snapchat, two live video streaming apps, have gained widespread popularity in French prisons. Inmates show their lives behind prison cells by streaming online videos. Amusingly, for some reason their videos are pretty popular.

    "Prisoners film themselves in their cells. They chat with their audience, which sometimes is more than 1,000 people, sending little hearts and emojis," L'Obs said.

    Streaming videos from French prisons regularly get uploaded to YouTube. One video from last November, showing prisoners sliding on their bellies along the corridor of an unknown prison, has gathered over 77,000 views.

    It's quite easy to find prison videos online, one simply needs to type in key words, sit back and enjoy.

    Apparently, prison authorities know their inmates own cellphones and have Internet access. Currently there is a debate between those who think that inmates should have a right to own cellphones behind bars and those who follow a harsher stance without the use of technology in prisons.

    With Internet connection in prisons, inmates have free access to information which allows them to stay in touch with their friends from the outside world. This could lead to parcels with illegal goods being transferred into prison cells.

    "While we walk, we get thrown small tennis balls filled with whatever we want. Prison is a small Club Med," said Luciano, a hoody-wearing prisoner streaming live video from his cell, while rolling a joint on camera.

    Periscope was launched last spring and by August 2015, over 10-million people were already using it. At the end of 2015, Apple named Periscope as the iPhone App of the year.


    Wikileaks Founder Assange Lives in Conditions Worse Than in Prison
    prison, video streaming service, cellphones, Internet, Periscope, France
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik