Citizen app pays New Yorkers $25 per hour to livestream crime scenes, report says

The app's goal is to encourage ordinary citizens to start filming during emergencies, according to the report.

Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown
"Police Line Do Not Cross"

Get your camera out, Citizen says.

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Citizen, a controversial neighborhood watch app, will reportedly pay New Yorkers $25 per hour to livestream crime scenes and other public emergencies, according to a Sunday report from the New York Post. The goal is to add to the numbers of people contributing such footage, according to the report. 

"Citizen has teams in place in some of the cities where the app is available to demonstrate how the platform works, and to model responsible broadcasting practices in situations when events are unfolding in real time," a Citizen spokeswoman told the Post. 

The Citizen app issues real-time safety alerts, live video of emergencies and updates during natural disasters or protests, according to the app description in Google Play. 

CNET reached out to the Citizen app for comment, and we'll update when we hear back. 

Citizen has had issues in the past with unconfirmed crime alerts in neighborhoods, like  a tiger reportedly loose in Manhattan that turned out to be a raccoon. In May, Citizen reportedly began testing an on-demand security feature that would summon a security detail to provide escort. Last year, the app teamed up with Los Angeles County for Safepass, a COVID-19 contact tracing app.