Caught on Facebook

Thousands in New Dehli are using Facebook to snitch on fellow commuters


Just when you thought Facebook was only good for organizing parties and stalking ex-boyfriends, the social networking site has become a weapon in the fight against traffic crime in India.

Police in New Delhi—a city of 12 million people (more than half of whom are motorists) and about 5,000 traffic cops—recently launched a Facebook page in the hopes of improving communication with the public. But the site has turned into a hub for airing grievances and tattling.

To date, nearly 20,000 people have signed on as “friends” and uploaded more than 3,000 photos taken in the city’s chaotic streets of alleged violations. Photos capture infractions ranging from illegal parking to talking on cellphones while driving, and riding a bike without a helmet. The authorities have assigned several full-time officers to comb through the images. So far, the Facebook evidence has led to 660 tickets—50 of which have been issued to police officers.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.