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Twitter Stops A Robbery In Small Kenyan Town Proving Potential Of Social Media

When in a desperate situation, one could never know in what different ways can today’s social media technology and tools come in handy. A recent incident in Kenya is just another example of how Twitter can be used positively to spread the word of alert.


A Kenyan chief, named Francis Kariuki, in a town away from the capital caught a predawn robbery by using Twitter. This has also shown that those areas which lack internet accessibility, social media could help reach there. He used Twitter to warn about the thieves seeking into his neighbour’s house. He tweeted the following in his native language, Swahili:

“Thieves in Kelven’s living room, let’s help him out please.”

Now those local people who followed his tweets through a free text messaging service took notice and sprung at the site due to which the robbers had to run away. Till now, Twitter had been famous for bringing mass media movements to life using in anti-government protests in Africa.

Now with this example it proves how wisely the same social media service could be used to help out find local crimes. In smaller towns around Nairobi, people don’t have access to the internet or smartphones. Those places where internet access is available costs much. But they replace such lack of inter-web connectivity by making for it through telecommunication. Most of the people use mobile phones and send text messages to connect far distance.

With the use of technology a lot of the community people have been able to take up social causes and support the issues they believe in. The Chief Kariuki sends people messages which they receive as free texts on their mobiles and with this a sense of community-ship develops. They can become a structured power for or against whatever they stand or fight with.

Reaching out to people is the real sense of governance, which is quite surprising to see in such a small town, but it exists because common sense and intelligence has been used to make out something constructive rather than using such facilities for reasons other than any main purpose. There is a lot to learn from this story and such similar ways could be adopted by even those who live in big cities around the world.

[ttjad]

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