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Woman Balks After Neighbor Threatens Them Over Doorbell Camera Facing Their Apartment

delivery driver ringing camera doorbell
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As video camera technology got smaller and smaller, the first applications were military and national security then criminal investigations followed by commercial security applications.

Things like ATM cameras, nanny cams, home security systems and such.

Once the tiny video cameras hit the wider commercial market, phones, tablets and laptops used the technology to enable business and personal video conference calls.

Remember Skype?

Then someone, somewhere realized peepholes—those fisheye lenses at eye level in solid doors that let people see who’s on their doorstep—hadn’t gotten an upgrade since they were invented by George Winningham in 1932.


Enter the video doorbell.

Video peepholes were briefly a thing, but video doorbells combined several features all at once: the peephole, the intercom, the doorbell and the security camera.

One of the earliest of these doorbells on the market was the Ring Video Doorbell created by Jamie Siminoff in 2013. Since then, many more video doorbells were introduced to the market, many with additional, unique features bumping them up from video doorbells to smart devices.

Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Home added integrated versions to their existing suite of smartphone or smarthome devices.

Once reserved for businesses and single family dwellings, apartment complexes eventually embraced the technology—allowing renters to mount the devices at their exterior or interior hallway doors.

But in close confines like apartment complexes with shared central hallways and rows of doors, one tenant’s smart doorbell surveils more than just that resident’s doorstep. So what takes precedence, one tenant’s security or their neighbor’s privacy?

A woman in conflict with her new neighbor over this question turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Celinef101 asked:

“AITA for refusing to move my ring camera after neighbor confronted me?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I (25, female) have lived in my apartment complex for a few years and have always had a Ring camera for security reasons and to avoid package theft that happens pretty often where I live.”

“My Ring camera is attached to my door and faces my neighbor’s door across the hall—about 3ish feet away.”

“Recently a new neighbor moved in and knocked on my door to ask if I could move my camera because it makes them uncomfortable that it faces their apartment door or turn off the motion activated sensor.”

“I had no problem with this and ordered a new mount to place slightly to the side of my door so it’s not a full view of their unit for their peace of mind. However, I think they assumed I brushed them off because I didn’t fix it the next day after asking me.”

“As a result, they’ve begun walking up to my camera multiple times a day leaving somewhat threatening messages into my camera like ‘you don’t want this to become a problem’ or ‘your liability is going to become my liability’.”

“I don’t even know what they mean by that.”

“Now I don’t want to move my camera at all since they’re trying to intimidate me and make me feel uncomfortable.”

“I completely understand that some people are not comfortable with recording devices which is why I had no issue ordering a new mount to appease their concerns. What I’m not okay with is them harassing me because I hadn’t made the change within a day.”

“Also, they’re ‘new’ to me, but not brand new to the neighborhood. I’ve been here for years and they’ve been here 6 months. It’s weird that this is just now coming up in a hostile manner. I’ve had conversations with them before/introduced each other with no mention of my Ring.”

“WIBTA if I don’t move my camera anymore since they’re trying to intimidate me?”

“By the way, Ring cameras are not prohibited in my complex. Plenty of our neighbors have them throughout the community.”

The OP added:

“I turned my camera off when they first approached me. But the next day I heard whispering at my door while I was cleaning up my kitchen.”

“When I looked out my peephole, I saw my neighbor there seemingly talking into my camera. After that I turned it back on to capture what exactly they were saying in case they did it again.”

“Lo and behold, they did it again the next day.”

“Also, when I first heard them whispering at my door, I opened it and said ‘hello’ and ‘can I help you?’.”

“They ignored me and just walked away and slammed their apartment door. So they’re being super passive aggressive for no reason.”

“I’m so confused honestly.”

“When they came over, I told them I’d be happy to turn off the motion activated sensor while I look into options for an alternative mount. Maybe because I didn’t explicitly say that I’m going to get and install a mount on a specific day they thought I blew them off?

“But this was two days ago. I’d understand if longer time had elapsed.

“Also, they were polite when they first asked me and this sudden 180 of behavior in such a short timeframe is alarming/confusing to me.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“Because my neighbor started to intimidate me about moving my camera when I was originally planning to, now I’m hesitant to do so.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA. Speaking threats into a machine that’s entire purpose is to record picture and audio seems like a really good way to lose a lot of your money or at least your lease.” ~ Forsaken-Blood-109

“Any type of threat means you hand it over and let management take care of it.”

“It’s the neighbor, not you. Especially if several other tenants have the cameras and your past neighbor had no issue with yours.”

“That person is crazy and if you can get them evicted, even better. I sure as sh*t wouldn’t feel comfortable living across the hall from someone like that. NTA.” ~ leese216

“Personally I’d be pretty happy if someone had a security camera that covered my door as well. I’d try to get on and maintain excellent terms with them so that if I had a package theft or other issue they’d be willing to share the footage if needed.”

“This neighbor is up to some shady sh*t and needs to be evicted by management if they’re that worried about what might be seen.” ~ dontbsuchalilbitchbb

“Take the threats to the apartment complex management and if you need to, call the cops and turn it over to them too.”

“That’s harassment and if they start making threats that involve weapons or bodily harm, then that becomes a terroristic threat in the United States.” ~ jjrobinson73

“I’d 100% eemail the footage to management and BRING a copy to the local PD. Don’t call the cops and have the neighbor seeing the cops coming to your apartment.”

“Frankly I’d also ask a guy friend to come stay or visit frequently.”

“This is psycho behavior that needs to stop, but in the meantime your safety is first priority.”

“I’d also get more video storage—local or cloud based—and record 24/7. But at the very least reenable the motion detection.”

“Who the f*ck do they think they are and what the f*ck are they hiding?” ~ Legal_Cupcake1324

“NTA, but if they’re threatening you, report them to the appropriate authorities, immediately. Stay safe, OP.” ~ adventuresofViolet

“There’s a ton of reasons the neighbor might be paranoid and uncomfortable about the Ring camera, whether mental illness, past trauma, illicit activities or just incredibly private.”

“Regardless of their reason, the fact is that this person has begun acting aggressively. OP needs to start a paper trail with at least management more than anything.”

“And OP really should not engage with this person anymore for safety reasons. NTA.” ~ Anabikayr

“NTA at all, but prepare for your Ring to be vandalized or something.” ~ bewbies-

“They sound like they may be package thieves themselves and don’t want cameras around. NTA.” ~ Late_Put5542

“NTA. I would still consider moving the camera, but not before reporting their behavior and showing those messages to your landlord/management company.” ~ laurasdiary

“Definitely NTA. They could’ve checked out the apartment before moving in and saw your camera and could’ve requested a different unit.”

“If they didn’t check it out first, that’s on them. Once they explicitly threaten you, file a police report.”

“Before that happens, put the camera back to normal and then let them know you will angle it away from their door so they have their privacy, but that you won’t be removing it for the exact reason you cited, that you’ve been stolen from before and that is your deterrent.”

“Don’t threaten the police report because that could escalate matters. If they knowingly break the law in front of the camera, that’s on them. Just file it without saying a word to them.” ~ AdExcellent4663

“NTA, and frankly they’re just offering more reasons as to why you need the camera.” ~ RoyallyOakie

Several Redditors suggested the OP communicate with their neighbor, but the OP described them whispering into their camera lens.

OP is a 25-year-old woman living alone. For her own safety it’s time to disengage with the neighbor and turn the matter over to the apartment complex management.

If she needs to tell the neighbor anything—like she plans to move her camera but is waiting for her new Ring camera mount to arrive—a third party should pass on the message.

Frankly, complex management gets paid to handle issues with tenants. Let them do their job and stay safely out of the conversation.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.