“Arrested.” That’s what 29 year old James Karl Buck sent from his phone out to the world via Twitter the other day. It seems Buck was snapping photos of a demonstration, and police collected him up and put him in jail.
When Egyptian police scooped up UC Berkeley graduate journalism student James Karl Buck, who was photographing a noisy demonstration, and dumped him in a jail cell last week, they didn’t count on Twitter.
Buck, 29, a former Oakland Tribune multimedia intern, used the ubiquitous short messaging service to tap out a single word on his cellular phone: ARRESTED. The message went out to the cell phones and computers of a wide circle of friends in the United States and to the mostly leftist, anti-government bloggers in Egypt who are the subject of his graduate journalism project.
The next day, he walked out a free man with an Egyptian attorney hired by UC Berkeley at his side and the U.S. Embassy on the phone.
What’s important about this story? Everything. Twitter has a powerful ability to move people to action, to deliver help where it’s needed, and more. If a messaging platform can free a man from prison, what else can it do for YOU?