Wistand is a tool allowing you to hire a physical person to represent you at the protests you cannot attend. Whether you live too far away from urban centres or simply cannot support your cause in person on that day, this app is here to help you.
Once you have placed your order, you have access to a geolocation service allowing you to track the “messenger’s” movements during the event. There’s also an instant messaging service, so you could communicate with your messenger and receive photos and videos of the event that you can then share on social media. For extra money, you can finance banners, posters and T-shirts for your avatar.
The app works only in France for now and was created as a response to the yellow vest movement. “In some sense, it is the equivalent of voting by a proxy,” explains the Wistand creator. He also describes his app as a democratic service. Nevertheless, the platform has been facing some critique. To avoid an army of paid protestors, Wistand allows one person to hire only one messenger. Also, Wistand is presented more like an ecosystem, which enables citizens to express their convictions in the right place at the right time.
As living far from the political and social epicentres doesn’t exclude you from being part of society, Wistand comes up with opportunities for support and participation. With more and more of regular protests such as Fridays for Future pushing the governments for change, this app could indeed play a part in protests becoming a vital part of public space.