“Ring Nation,” marketed as a modern take on the classic “America’s Funniest Home Videos” franchise, quietly premiered on Monday on dozens of cable channels in over 70 US cities. But despite the light subject matter, it may be among the most controversial productions currently on television.
The show repurposes clips captured by Amazon-owned Ring doorbell cameras, as well as other home videos, and is produced by Amazon-owned MGM Studios. Advocacy groups have criticized “Ring Nation” both as an example of the e-commerce giant’s vast reach into consumers’ lives and for effectively making light of surveillance technology.
Ahead of the show’s premiere, tens of thousands of people signed an online petition calling for “Ring Nation” to be canceled.
“The show is making a mockery of the very real harms caused by Ring devices by essentially rebranding surveillance as entertainment. With “Ring Nation,” they’re trying to make viral videos trendy and entertaining this way, so more people buy these devices.”Myaisha Hayes, Campaign Strategies Director at MediaJustice