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India: Crowdsourcing Traffic Violations On Facebook

India is one of the few countries in the world where traffic police across the cities like Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kanpur, Kolkata and many more have joined social networking site Facebook and are encouraging posting of crowdsourced information on Traffic violations. Thousands of users are following these pages and many are contributing photos and videos of traffic violations, so that police can take action. According to the authorities, Facebook has increased their power and made people aware of the fact that somebody is watching.

Police taking action on an user complaint accompanied by a photo taken by a mobile phone

The Facebook pages are providing people a direct mode of communication with the police department. Some police department like Delhi and Chennai have gone further by providing traffic updates on Twitter. Saket Jajodia has a list of police departments of major cities of India, who are on social networking sites.

According to reports a video of a hit-and-run posted by the Bangalore Traffic Police on their Facebook page with a view to find the driver of a car involved in the collision. The call received an overwhelming response, with over 27,000 shares on the social networking websites in only three days.

Journalist Vincent D’ Souza reports that critical messages of the public are also allowed on Chennai Police Facebook page. There are instances that the system can be manipulated by abusers. However, the police are able to locate and bring the abusers to justice.

Chennai City Traffic Police has been awarded the jury price in the category best ICT-Enabled eGov Initiative of the Year at the eINDIA 2011 awards.

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