Chris Blattman

Twitter saves the day: Kenyan crimefighting edition

Using the Twitter name “@chiefkariuki“, Kariuki sends messages to over 15,000 of the 28,000 people who live in Lanet Umoja. They include village elders, community and church leaders, the police, youth and women’s groups, and school principals.

When an incident occurs, the victims or eyewitnesses send text messages to the chief, describing the nature of the incident, the place and the nearest known landmark. The chief then broadcasts his instructions to the community through Twitter.

While not everyone has 3G-enabled cellphones here, many just subscribe to follow Kariuki’s account through their local service providers and receive his tweets by text message.

When the chief sends out a message, in a matter of seconds the entire location goes into action as directed.

Full article here. Do not miss the daring pit latrine rescue.

h/t @InnovateAfrica

2 Responses

  1. Interesting idea.

    What happens though, to the accused when a mob of 15,000 comes to prevent him/her from committing whatever crime it is they’re supposed to of committed?

    Judging from how most mobs deal ‘justice’ in Kenya, I imagine it’s a rather scary thought.

    Social media + vigilantism = worrying effects on justice.

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