With Mexico's journalists afraid to cover the country's rampant drug violence, citizens are using Twitter to share information about shootings and warn one another about ongoing firefights and unexploded bombs.
Two young Mexicans have created a social application called Retio that lets users post localized updates on violence and drug-related crime. That's helping Mexicans keep tabs on crime and increasing pressure on law enforcement officials to address the problem, the app's proponents say. The creators say they would like to bring the tool to other countries as well.
Drug cartel violence is one factor behind Mexico's ranking as the fifth most dangerous country for journalists, according to a joint assessment by the UN and the Organization of American States. Since 2000, 70 journalists have been killed in the country, according to Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights, including 13 so far this year.
A Twitter bug temporarily allowed people to force other users to follow them simply by tweeting the word "accept" followed by a user name. The glitch -- accidentally discovered by a fan of the heavy-metal band Accept -- prompted thousands of users to rush to have themselves followed by their favorite celebrities.
Diesel's Spanish division has installed Facebook-enabled webcams in its fitting rooms, allowing shoppers to post images of themselves trying on clothes and to poll their friends' opinions about potential purchases. Images from the Diesel Cam are marked with a small Diesel logo, providing the brand with free advertising when users share the photos.
Mexico's violent drug war has erupted on the international stage with world-wide news coverage, a U.S. State Department travel warning about "large firefights" and a UN report that Mexican drug cartels have reacted "with unprecedented violence" to the government's attempts to subdue them. Some critics attribute the increase hostilities to the policies of President Felipe Calderón, who has dispatched more than 40,000 soldiers to fight the cartels since taking office in December 2006.