Most drains full of dirt
Reported via iOS anonymously at 12:46, Sunday 25 April 2021, Sent to York City Council less than a minute later
Council own the road so they need to empty them.
Reported via iOS in the Potholes category anonymously at 12:46, Sunday 25 April 2021 Sent to York City Council less than a minute later
So dangerous, someone could get trapped!! You can actually see down the drain.
then assessed, prioritised and added to the call-sheet of the workers who will go out and fix it. It is possible for the photograph to be included with the documentation for the job, and upon resolution increasingly, the workers take a photograph for submission to the council showing the job has been completed. In some instances, as well as emailing the person who reported the problem through FixMyStreet to advise that it has been resolved, local authorities send them the photo taken by the workers to show that the job has been done. Photographic proof that the work has been carried out and the problem resolved. The ability to report a fault to your local council through FixMyStreet is benign and of undoubted benefit to citizens but it is easy to imagine a situation in which having to provide ‘photographic proof’ to a state body could be coercive. Whether operated by a human bureaucrat or (as is increasingly the case) an algorithmic one, state systems of control, since the earliest times, have served to implicitly and explicitly exclude and coerce people based upon their class position, perceived gender, sexuality or ethnicity. Beyond their use in police intelligence, the history of the last 150 years furnishes plenty of examples where photography has been used to identify, coerce and seek to control ‘suspect’ populations, with often brutal results. The incorporation of photography into workflows also raises questions for those who undertake the work. Whilst there are marginal benefits to service users or customers if a worker has to document photographically that they have carried out a task, most of the benefits of the technology accrue to bosses who gain a new tool in their arsenal with which to control the work process and potentially discipline workers. As well as council staff and contractors documenting their completion of a mainte-
nance or a rubbish collection job, it appears increasingly common for the parcel couriers and food delivery workers who have kept society’s wheels turning during the pandemic, to have to photographically document that they have completed their deliveries. Like GPS tracking devices and movement sensors the collection and collation of photographic evidence, supposedly showing what work has and hasn’t been done, provides bosses with more data about how work is conducted, increasing their leverage and enabling them to exert more pressure upon those they employ. FixMyStreet manages to escape these concerns through having germinated in the soil of civil society rather than the filing cabinets of the bureaucratic state. MySociety, the organisation which created the service, is a third sector organisation rather than a creature of local or national government. This comes across in how people use the service. In style and tone the reports’ text and the vernacular photographs accompanying them recall organically formed, hyperlocal internet discussion boards and Facebook pages. The text is typically aggrieved, if not outright peevish, sometimes scattergun in focus and has a stringent righteous quality to it, as if soliciting public support to challenge whatever fault or nuisance has been observed. Stylistically, this manner of composing reports is broadly constant across the UK, and is mirrored on MyGov’s version of the platform serving the Republic of Ireland. To see the quintessential reporting style adopted by FixMyStreet users it makes sense to hone in on the issues being reported by residents in specific localities. In York residents seem to be especially concerned about the maintenance of their drains. One user has uploaded a photo of weeds growing down a grating alongside some