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Hollaback! An intriguing innovation in Knight News Challenge

The Knight News Challenge is awarding as much as $5 million this year for innovative ideas that develop platforms, tools and services to inform and transform community news, conversations and information distribution and visualization.

I found this idea intriguing. You can read and comment (you must register to comment) on her project here:

Don't just walk on, Hollaback! Comments like "hey baby, nice tits," and unwanted attention like groping, public lewdness or even assault are an everyday part of life for women around the world. They are also illegal, demeaning, and demoralizing. Unfortunately 97% (2007 study) of these crimes go unreported. Those that attempt reporting to police are frequently told there is "nothing" they can do. Authorities in most countries (including our own), regularly fail to take street harassment seriously and follow through on reporting these crimes, making them invisible to the media and policymakers. We envision a different option to report, document, and track street harassment. Women worldwide will stop harassment and assault with digital, open-source technology. We propose to create an online map where women can "Hollaback!" directly from their cell phones. Quick, 140 character stories can be submitted through three easy portals: a) text it, b) tweet it, and c) submit it through a "Hollaback" mobile phone app. Once submitted, harassment and assault data will be mapped and later analyzed in an annual "State of Our Streets" report which will be sent to the police, public officials, and the media. Automatic email alerts noting real-time harassment will also be available. Local citizens and policy makers can sign up for alerts on incidences in their own communities, or review our HARASSmap to see harassment hot-spots. After piloting in New York City, we want to make this open-source technology available to countries with pre-existing anti–street harassment communities including: India, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. A HollabackWORLD site will be launched to document and build awareness around street harassment worldwide.


jap21's picture

Hi Jennifer

This is a great idea, and it would be great to have it realized.

I don't know very much about the credibility of knight news challenge, as someone I know, who can prove what I say, sent an idea, and after two months the first try out of the idea was being launched by them with one million dollars (the news were on their website). Then the original idea was discarded from the contest, under the pretext that it was being executed already. My friend sent various communications in protest as the owner of the original proposal. They answered mildly, but they kept asking her to send more ideas, which was not fair.

She finally stepped back, but does not trust them very much. Please be cautious.

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

We also applied last year

World Pulse entered this competition last year to fund Voice of Our Future, actually! We were declined - they said we didn't meet the guidelines. We were like, huh? However, Knight is a reputable foundation that does good work.

Funnily enough, the application for VOF was inspired by the Knight News Challenge process. (at least the parts I liked!)

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

Ken Osiko's picture

Attitude Determines Approach

Very often the attitude of mind determines the approach .The attitude can be biased ,tainted with doubt or fear or anxiety,cloaked in suspicion, chocked with hate or anger ,imbued with greed ,or fired with lust .
On the other hand that attitude can be tempered with understanding ,consideration and concern for others and frame an approach that satisfies and works.

Ken Osiko,

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