When Jonas Vig and Måns Adler came up with the idea for Bambuser, they imagined that people would use the online streaming service to share events and achievements with friends and family around the world. They never predicted it would become a way for users to take the news into their own hands. Videos showing young Arabs protesting dictatorships in the Middle East were streamed live, exposing brutality that international news cameras couldn’t capture. Bambuser users are even credited with showing the first videos of violence against freedom activists in Syria.
Even with its wide content scope, Jonas and Måns estimate that ninety-nine percent of the material that streams through the site doesn’t interest anyone outside of a small group. However, they believe this technology could be a turning point in allowing ordinary citizens to keep surveillance records of their officials. As Jonas explains, “We have a very strong sense of responsibility, and a passion for transparency and honesty.” Jonas and Måns are even training people in the Middle East to use Bambuser as a tool to monitor elections.