Lebanese app posts 'I am alive' tweet after bombings
Bypasses congested phone lines after an attack to enable survivors to alert families and friends that they are OK.
A Lebanese student has developed an app that automatically tweets "I am still alive" following a bomb attack. The app will soon be extended to include other countries - and may even be used in disaster zones, according to the BBC.
There have been two bomb attacks in Lebanon since the app was launched in late Janaury and dozens of the 4,000 people who have downloaded the app so far have used it for real.
Phone lines are often so congested after an attack, with people trying to find out if their friends and family are OK, that calls can't get through, says app developer Sandra Hassan, 21. But a weak Internet signal should be enough for the app to push out its message.
At the touch of a button, the app sends a tweet saying "I am still alive! #Lebanon #Latestbombing".
Hassan has been contacted by people from outside Lebanon – including from Egypt and Pakistan - asking for the app to be extended to their countries. She has also been contacted by an NGO interested in using the app in natural disasters.
Hassan has also developed a tongue-in-cheek "VIP" version of the app, aimed at politicians in Lebanon; it allows them to select a pre-written message of condemnation from a drop-down list.