[ View the story "Can a Twitter account save street kids?" on Storify] Can a Twitter account save street kids? Philippines government ministry encourages public to tweet reports of at-risk children.
The Stream· Thu, Jan 17 2013 09:55:08
Here's what the "Save Street Kids" Twitter project looks like in practice:
to tweet: save a street kid/complete name of street or intersection/nearest landmark/M Manila City/time of sightingDSWD
@savestreetkids NAIA 3, right after you turn right from the roundabout comin from airport road, kids sniffing solvent yesterday afternoonRayza Magsakay
@magsrayz Update: 1/2 The reach out team went to the area but no street kids sniffing solvent were found. However, ...DSWD
@magsrayz Update: 2/2 ... the case was coordinated to Brgy. Villamor for continues monitoring. Thank you.DSWD
@savestreetkids thanks for the update. Yes, i didnt see one today either..Rayza Magsakay
Most of the account's responses, however, look like this:
@metallicthread ty for the info. we will inform the concerned unit for appropriate action.DSWD
@dennis_datu Ty for the info, we'll refer this to concerned unit for action.DSWD
@isl_1281 ty for the info Ma'am. we will inform the concerned unit for appropriate action.DSWD
Some have questioned the usefulness of the account:
@savestreetkids appreciated yet disappointed for still 'til now the reported area for many times wasn't yet attended.StephenSteelPimentel
@savestreetkids does this even need a twitter account? just drive around Manila and you'll pick up alot of them. #justsayingWilliam De Gorostiza
The Stream's online community weighed in on the @savestreetkids programme.
Some asked what would happen to street children after being brought to the attention of the authorities.
@AJStream @cindilse And what do they mean by ‘rescued’? Maybe I’m cynical but sometimes that might just mean ‘swept under the carpet’…Kirsten Han
@AJStream @kixes It feels like a cathartic behaviour for the middle class. They'll spot a street child wandering, they report it via tweets.Cindi Loo
@AJStream @kixes And then someone else will handle it. It feels like doing social good just by sitting by spotting a kid and tweeting.Cindi Loo
@cindilse @AJStream My first thought would be if reporting a streetkid would benefit the kid, or would it just bring them trouble.Kirsten Han
What do you think? Is this an effective way for governments to help children who live on the streets?