Kenyan chief in a town far from the bustling capital foiled a predawn robbery recently using Twitter, highlighting the far-reaching effects of social media in areas that don't have access to the Internet.
Chief Francis Kariuki said he got a call in the dead of the night that thieves had broken into a neighbor's house.
He turned to Twitter, which allows users to send messages in 140 characters or less, to reach his community instantly.
"Thieves in Kelven's living room, let's help him out please," he tweeted in Swahili, the local language.
Local residents, who subscribe to his tweets through a free text messaging service, jumped into action. They surrounded the house, sending the thugs fleeing into the night.
In the town 100 miles from Nairobi, a majority of residents don't have access to computers, the Internet or smart phones. The sporadic cyber cafes strewn across the landscape charge for Internet access.
However, almost every household has a cell phone and text messages are a major form of communication in the nation.
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