Digital Samaritans

Gawker highlights a New York Times article which talks about the growing numbers of “digital samaritans”, who help return lost items via the web. With the help of our socially networked society, and a bit of detective work, tracking down owners is becoming exceptionally easy. They explain: A Scottish hiker found a digital camera, circulated […]

Gawker highlights a New York Times article which talks about the growing numbers of “digital samaritans”, who help return lost items via the web. With the help of our socially networked society, and a bit of detective work, tracking down owners is becoming exceptionally easy.

They explain:

  • A Scottish hiker found a digital camera, circulated some pictures on Flickr, and figured out where the owner lived. A nearby Flickr user drove around until he found the house in question, and the camera was soon returned to its owner (a clumsy American, naturally).
  • An engineer found a wallet in a 7-Eleven and, before turning it in to the cashier, photographed the driver’s license on his iPhone. He found the college student that night on Facebook and emailed her directions to the wallet.
  • A San Francisco woman got an email about her missing wallet before she knew it was gone, from a guy who found it on a bus and couldn’t get a message to her through the robots at the credit card companies.

Gawker: “The Web Makes Losing Things Obsolete”

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