On Sunday afternoon, second-year political science student Watt Cheng declared that he’s uncovering his laptop webcam.

The declaration was submitted to the “UWO Must Knows” page on Facebook, reading as follows:

“Fellow students, it is time for us to stop living in fear and anxiety of our laptop webcams. I notice during my lectures and tutorials that a vast number of us cover our laptop camera with tape, and why? Is it because we fear being watched by hackers? Have we watched too many Black Mirror episodes? Is it to have an excuse to ignore FaceTime calls? Is it just the new status quo? Tonight I will be uncovering my laptop webcam to showcase that the fears and worries we have are unfounded. Feel free to join me.”

The decision was met with both criticism and support; students either completely denounced Cheng’s actions or outright supported them.

“I don’t think it was a smart decision on his part,” explains Jane Butterfield, first-year medical sciences student. “Everybody knows the FBI and the CIA have tabs on everyone in Canada, America and God knows where else.”

Butterfield also calls for the university administration to take action against Cheng, as his actions could endanger the safety of the school.

“I love my designated FBI agent, I practice my presentations to him all the time and he always gives me valuable feedback,” explains Brett Fiorillo, fourth-year Ivey student. “I think Jake is completely right in uncovering his webcam. The government knows so much about us anyway, why not give them a glimpse into our day to day life too?” 

Regardless of the opinions surrounding Cheng actions, the following day, the post was shared over 200,000 times and has amassed over 1 million likes on the platform.

Cheng was even invited to appear on The Tonight Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the latter of which showcased her admiration for Cheng’s bravery by awarding him a lifetime supply of laptop webcams.

When asked for comment Cheng simply said, “I did it for freedom, I did it for love, I did it for Western.”

When asked for comment, the FBI said Cheng should take down his Nickelback posters. 

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