Most of us know that a lot of trash talk can happen on social media and that is a sad thing. However, what about literal trash talking? In some of India’s larger municipalities, citizens and police have figured out that trash talking is a good thing when it means that the streets are cleaner and people who are illegally dumping trash are captured.
Citizens observing illegally dumped trash can take a cell phone picture and use WhatsApp to transmit it to the police. In many cases, the culprits are identified and prosecuted. This has resulted in improved street sanitation, more criminal prosecutions, and sometimes cash bonuses for citizens (Bhuma Shrivastava and Anto Antony “India Taps Social Media to Take Out the Trash” Bloomberg Businessweek, 4/4/16–4/10/16, p. 16):
“Citizens can receive a 1,000-rupee cash prize each time they report truckers violating the law. . . . Violators face confiscation of the truck, unless they pay a fine of as much as 30,000 rupees.”
Social media is used for many reasons. Why not use it to help get rid of the trash?