Why Do People Hate Drones?

David Lemay18 Oct 2022

Why do so many people have such strong feelings against drones? Why do so many people find a couple thousand bucks' worth of flying plastic and PCBs to be so aggravating? In particular, why is there hate against drones and their pilots, and why has this animosity continued for so long?

Hatred and harassment against drone pilots is a popular theme for drone footage on YouTube. More and more rational, law-abiding drone owners are receiving an intolerable level of hostility from people, law enforcement, park rangers, bikers, and neighbors.

Reasons Why People Hate Drones

There are likely as many people who think drones are worth every penny and those that think they aren't worth the money at all.

Privacy Concerns

Drones' intrusive nature is a major reason for public disapproval. Most modern drones include high-resolution cameras, such as DroneX, that allow the pilot to capture breathtaking panoramic shots of the landscape below. It can be tough to discern if they are recording or not due to the built-in camera on this device. Furthermore, some of the cameras used in modern drones are miniature yet high-tech. You'll be able to shoot stunningly clear pictures while in the air using that. Drones raise privacy concerns due to their ability to secretly record people without their knowledge.


Drones' loudness is another typical criticism. Now granted, they can sound like a swarm of angry wasps when taking off, but how many drone pilots actually fly low to the ground? When a drone is at a height of 20 meters or more, you can no longer hear it operate. Even if a drone were being flown very close to someone's head, it would still be much quieter than, for instance, a pneumatic drill, a speeding Harley, or any of the other roughly 5,000 modern innovations that we all meet on a daily basis without throwing a tantrum.

Threat to Safety

It's easy to see why the public could view a drone as dangerous. We all know that no technology is foolproof, so a drone crash is possible at any time. If this piece of equipment fails in flight, it may hit the ground at a high rate of speed, and worst-case scenario, it could harm people who are walking nearby, especially in busy areas.

Tricky to Operate

Drones' complicated controls are another reason why many people dislike them. Some people may not want to dedicate a significant amount of time to learning how to fly drones safely, as it may take some time to become an expert pilot. So if you're impatient, flying a drone may not be for you.

Drone Mishaps That Made People Hate Drones Whether you welcome the drones with open arms or wish to see them exterminated, they are here to stay.  Here are several drones accidents that might be reasons why people don't like drones very much.

Drone crashes near the White House.

A drone had a hard landing on the White House grounds back on January 26, 2015. Although there are regulations in place regarding drone flights near the White House, this one evaded detection. The White House went on lockdown immediately after the event. When investigating the disaster, the US attorney determined that the drone's operator, Shawn Usman, had lost control of the aircraft and opted not to press charges.

Drone injures Australian triathlete.

A drone that was being used to take photos during the Geraldton Endure Batavia triathlon in Australia slammed into triathlete Raija Ogden, leaving her with a small head wound that required stitches. Photographer Warren Abrams, who was piloting the drone before it crashed, claimed that someone from the audience grabbed the drone's control from him.

Drone hurts bystanders in Virginia.

The Great Bull Run was a celebration held in the fall of 2013 at Virginia Motorsports Park. Like Running of the Bulls in Spain, it featured live music, alcoholic beverages, a tomato fight, and a bull run. Several individuals were hurt when a drone being used to shoot video of the festival crashed into the stands.  

Why Americans Hate Hobbyist With Drones

It's easy to assume that drone technology is mainstream if you're an enthusiast of it or if you fly drones yourself. Obviously, that's not the case. And only a tiny fraction of Americans actually fly their own drone; about 8%. Although many people do not have their own drones, over 60% have witnessed someone else using one.

While more and more people in the United States are learning about drone technology, opinions on the subject remain divided. Research showed that if people observed a drone flying near their house, 58% would be intrigued and 45% would be interested. About a tenth would feel anger or fear, whereas just 26% would feel uncomfortable. Despite adhering to FAA regulations, drone pilots have historically been the targets of verbal and physical abuse during flights. One woman even went so far as to steal a drone, fabricate numerous lies, and attempt to have the pilot arrested. 

The main reason why some Americans hate drone hobbyists is worrying about security issues when someone flies a drone near them or their property.

Why Do People Hate Military Drones?

The New York Times released documents from the Pentagon and they validate people's opinion that military drone is counterproductive for the United States. US military drone attacks have murdered hundreds of innocent people across the larger Middle East. These strikes have also radicalized America's opponents, extended the length of time the US has spent in these conflicts, and given those in charge of the drone program post-traumatic stress disorder.

Supporters of drone use argue that unmanned, precision-guided weaponry can achieve many of the aims of conventional warfare at far cheaper costs and the utilization of drones keeps American soldiers safe. In reality, the opposite is true. A drone's ability to transmit a convincing message to an enemy is useless if the enemy continues to fight anyway. Drone strikes inflame radicalism by causing the loss of loved ones and by killing innocent people. Thus, it's understandable why so many people hate military drones and think they’re a waste of taxpayers' money.

You don't have to spend much time online to find a video showing someone getting into an argument with someone flying a drone. In fact, John Oliver once ranked drones as "the third most annoying thing in the sky."  And a survey conducted in 2015 found that 42% of Americans are against owning drones. There are a number of possible explanations, the most basic being that people are naturally wary of cutting-edge technologies. Drones might be everywhere but are still a new technology, having only been developed in recent years. Or maybe the hatred of drones simply stems from a general discomfort towards robotics and our anxiety that they will somehow take over humans.

David Lemay

David Lemay

I'm David Lemay, a lover of tech and have had an interest in drones for years. Bought my first few drones, before I started building my own. I want to share my passion with others, so I started this site to help others who want to get into the hobby.

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