Talk about giving power back to the people! The concept of corrupt government officials is nothing new, but it’s always been very difficult to do anything about it because any change would involve going through the aforementioned corrupt officials. IPaidABribe aims to put a dent in that by asking African and Indian citizens to report cases where they were victims of a dirty system, via text message or on their site.
So far, it’s working pretty well. The site, which is quickly approaching a million hits, ends up reporting about 56% of the submitted complaints to the police. Additionally, the data the site gathers is useful in garnering attention, even if some bribes continue to go unreported. Current stats show Bangalore as soliciting a disproportionately large amount of bribes, with police in particular asking for bribes more than pretty much any other department.
Bringing this information into the public eye does much to break down the “Blue Code of Silence” that police and other officials share. A corrupt government can “deal with” a single whistle-blower; ten thousand is a bit of a different story.