Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

How I used public information on Facebook to help someone.

Every now and then we hear how and why we should not put public information on Facebook and how it can be misused by anyone with evil intentions. Well to some extent it is true and social media platforms such as Facebook or Google for that matter use these information for their own monetary benefits.

Having said that, it does not mean that publicly available information can not be used in a positive manner. When I was working in Sydney, one day while traveling to work in a subway, I found a bank debit card on the floor of the train. It was a lost debit card of someone who might have dropped it while off-boarding the train. I picked it up and thought what I can do with it. It was early morning and I had to attend my daily huddle meeting. As soon as I off-boarded the train I went to the guard who was patrolling at the subway station. I told him about how I found the debit card. He told me that there is a police station 5–7 min walking distance (opposite direction to my office) where I can go and lodge a complaint. As I was getting late for my meeting, I thought I will visit the police station during lunch time. I went to office and was doing my routine work. Then suddenly something struck my mind. What if I find the owner of the card myself. I went on Facebook and searched for people with the same name which was mentioned in the debit card and I filtered people living in Sydney. It was a unique name so I found only few results for that particular name. I still remember it was a Female Iranian Lady. I texted her on Facebook messenger and asked her if she had lost her card. I asked her few questions about the card, like what the color of the card is and what the expiry is and things like that just to make sure I was talking to an authentic owner of the card and not someone who can fake it. Though not every identification I asked were correct, I asked myself what if I was in the same situation, would I remember these identifications myself. So I gave her benefit of the doubt where I thought was required and fair. When I was confident enough that I was talking to the correct owner of the card, I asked her to meet me at the central subway station of Sydney after working hour where I met her personally and handed over her bank debit card.

What if I had given the debit card to the police station? Or to the guard at the subway station near my office? I am sure if that had happened It would take a long time to reach its owner, perhaps days or weeks. With the use of publicly available information on Facebook I found out the owner of the debit card and handed back to her (after verification of course. :P) within a couple of hours. After I handed back to her, I felt at peace and was proud of myself.

So after all this episode, I concluded that social media isn’t that bad after all. It can be used to help people as well, just like I did and people out there are doing it through vlogging and spreading awareness etc. Its just a matter of what information you want to and you should put online. Some online presence is good. It keeps you updated.

Happy Reading!!!!



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