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Rome police asking motorists to highlight bad parking on Twitter

It can be hard to define exactly what Twitter is, because it serves so many purposes: sharing with friends, reporting the weather, shouting at celebrities, tracking civil unrest, interacting with big brands and much more besides. Thanks to a pilot scheme running in Rome, you can add reporting parking violations to the list as well.

Italy’s crowded capital city has a particularly acute parking problem, and this new social media initiative is designed to help alleviate it. As The Car Connection reports, residents are being asked to photograph and tweet examples of bad parking to the police department’s Twitter account. Here’s one example.

The idea seems to be working: in the first month since the scheme was introduced, Twitter users reported over 1,000 misdemeanours, of which around two-thirds were followed up by police officers and traffic wardens. In the future, the authorities are hoping to add data maps to highlight troublesome areas and enable users to track their complaints.

“Sharing, such as on social networks, is needed to fight certain patterns of illegality and rule-breaking, and also of crime,” urban police force chief Raffaele Clemente told Reuters.

Keep your eyes on the @PLRomaCapitale Twitter handle for more examples and to brush up on your Italian at the same time. How would you feel about your terrible parking being reported over Twitter? A clever use of social media, or a step too far? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks to Slashdot, where we first saw the story.