New trend on social media: Droughtshaming

Is your neighbor using up a lot of water? There are now some options to call them out from the comfort of your phone.

With California suffering through its fourth season of drought, citizens have taken to social media to shame their neighbors for using too much water, according to a report by NPR. Referred to as droughtshaming, the act of making someone feel bad for using water in the state now has a larger platform thanks to new mobile apps and Twitter hashtags to pinpoint who is doing what with their H2O.

On Twitter, hashtags like #DroughtShame or #DroughtShaming give people a platform to air their grievances over others in the state that may be using a lot of water. Some tweets have been focused on Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti while others have targeted celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Barbara Streisand with aerial photos of their homes showing green lawns. 

An app that was not made specifically for droughtshaming, but has been adopted by many is VizSafe. "We launched the app last year," says VizSafe founder and CEO Peter Mottur. "It's really a broad community safety and wellbeing platform for sharing photos and videos that are all geolocated and mapped." Mottur says people can report anything from a fallen tree to a pothole, but increasingly he says, "users are posting information about their neighbors who are wasting water." And that data ends up on a map that is visible to the public.

There is also the DroughtShameApp, which was created by Santa Monica real estate agent Dan Estes. He said that he made it out of a feeling of responsibility. The app lets users upload geo-located photos, with captions and addresses to report water wasters.

Read more at NPR.

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