Wishing away street harassment

The Nefsi ("I Wish") campaign was conceived by a group of independent Egyptian activists who decided to take a public stand against street harassment and take the online conversation, offline. In May 2012, through a Facebook group they mobilised 80 people to stand and create a 'human chain' on the sidewalks of Mahandessin, Cairo.


Twitter #hashtag campaigns

Hashtag campaigns have emerged as one of the most powerful social media techniques for quickly initiating conversation on a particular issue. 

By using the # (hashtag) symbol in front of a word or group of words with no spaces between them, Twitter categorises any tweets that make use of the exact same hashtag. This means that anyone searching for a particular hashtag gets a listing of all tweets that contain this hashtag organised by date. Here are examples of two such campaigns.



Your phone's secrets revealed

An Italian software collective, Molleindustria, in collaboration with American culture jamming activists The Yes Men, produced Phone Story, a “radical game” for smart phones. The game exposes the human and environmental costs of the mobile phone industry. It made headlines when Apple banned it from its iPhone App Store, which only bolstered Molleindustria's campaign.


Mapping Harassment in Cairo

Harassmap is a movement which uses a mashup, Ushahidi, to provide a place for women and other victims of sexual harassment to report instances of harassment on the streets of Cairo. Using a number of methods to gather the information, people can submit reports via SMS, email and a web form.


Community reporting terrorism

Using text messages and mobile phone photos, local people self-organised to find and share information that wasn’t available in the media during the Mumbai terrorist attacks. This spontaneous community reporting identified injuries and deaths and supported coordinated donations of blood and other relief efforts.



Reporting violence by text

Citizens of Madagascar sent SMS messages to Foko about reports of violence by the military and police during demonstrations against a takeover of the government. These reports were published on an online map, and a team of local bloggers checked the messages for accuracy. As traditional media was compromised at the time, Foko’s website alerted citizens to trouble spots and gave a richer picture of the crisis than traditional reporting while ensuring an independent information source existed to report on events.


Sexual health question's answered

Young people in Nigeria face obstacles in getting accurate sexual and reproductive health information, due to stigma and taboos.  A collaboration between OneWorld UK and local NGO, Education as a Vaccine Against AIDS, produced 'MyQuestion/MyAnswer,' a mobile phone service that lets young people take control over their own sexual health education anonymously and securely.


Infonet: Budget Tracking

Citizens from Kenya can get information on government funding for development projects by sending a text message to Infonet's budget tracking platform. The questions provide data to help build a picture of which government funds are most under scrutiny in different areas. People can also leave comments on each project to verify, contest, add information, or connect with a local social development group who can help them query the allocation and use of public funds.



Mobile phone tips

Mobile phone security

Mobile phones are used by advocates all over the world, but they often store a great deal of information that should be kept private. In addition to contact lists, a mobile phone may contain call histories, calendars, text messages and emails.


Obscure faces or objects

ObscuraCam is an Android application that allows you to obscure faces or objects in photos or videos to keep certain information private. It allows you to black out or pixelate certain areas of an image. You can also reverse pixelate, so that only the person is visible and the background becomes blurred. The application also allows you to remove telltale metadata such as GPS location, phone make and model, and author information.