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Open Garden's messaging app Firechat was initially launched as a way for people at festivals like Burning Man to communicate when they were off-the-grid using WiFi, Bluetooth or Apple's multipeer connectivity framework. What its founders didn't bank on is users relying on it to send messages during civil uprisings.
Embracing its journalism potential, Firechat announced that it was partnering with news-gathering platform Storyful on Wednesday to create Open Live Newsroom, a place for verified journalists to chat with citizens around the world.