Tweets Help Save Carjacking Victim

A man in Johannesburg, South Africa, should be thanking his lucky stars that his girlfriend tweets after she shared details of his carjacking on Twitter and helped save him.

A man was carjacked in Johannesburg Saturday night by two armed men and forced into the trunk (boot) of his car. He had his cell phone on him and contacted his girlfriend, Lynn Peters, who promptly sent out the following tweet:



You can read through the retweets that followed here and view a pretty detailed blow-by-blow on this Twitter stream belonging to a Tanisha Reddy, who appears to have been instrumental in coordinating efforts. We’ve provided some highlights below:



Worth noting is the fact that both the Twitter account that sent out the initial tweet and the one that kept posting about it (above) each had only 79 and 117 followers, respectively. Does this support the argument that when it comes to Twitter (and other social networks) quantity of followers does not necessarily trump quality? Or was the subject matter of the tweet so highly retweetable that the follower count was irrelevant? Hmm. We suppose the assist from the  @PigSpotter account (boasting more than 100k followers), which retweeted the call for help, could’ve played a role as well! Regardless, this story highlights how quickly certain messages can spread.

This story brings to mind last year’s news about the rescue teams being summoned back to Port-au-Prince via Twitter (they were at the airport preparing to leave), after a Haitian quake survivor was unexpectedly found. Fortunately, they were able to get there in time and extract him from the rubble.

And there are other instances of social media saving people’s lives – many, in fact. Need proof? Check out this piece detailing seven times when social networking saved lives.

Have you ever tweeted something seeking assistance with an emergency? Would you? Tell us about it.

(Emergency workstation image from Shutterstock)

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.