"If someone is being hit for a bribe, isn't the easiest
thing just to put it on Twitter? It goes round the world in next to no time."
Alderman, head of the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office, is apparently serious about
Twitter. After self-congratulating themselves for organizing the government
overthrows in North Africa and the Middle East, social media sites are
apparently ready to stop global corruption.
So I decided to search through Twitter to see what it had
to say about bribery. I started with what I thought would be the most obvious
using #bribe. The most
common messages using that hashtag looked something like this example:
Had to resort to the best method of all just to get my
niece to come to Target with me #bribe #sparklynailpolish
Not exactly focusing on the world's problems.
But I did notice a message from @IPaidABribe, connected to the
IPaidaBribe.com the Indian website mentioned in the Financial
Times article. That led to this message:
I suppose that is closer to what Mr. Alderman was talking
On the other hand Mr. Alderman is in charge of enforcing
the UK Bribery Act which makes it a crime to pay a bribe. So if you do report a
bribe on Twitter, Mr. Alderman would be responsible for bringing charges
against you. The SFO has said they would use prosecutorial discretion when
bringing charges, so from a practical matter it would seem unlikely that you
would end up with charges against you. But still, would you publicly announce
that you just broke the law?
A few days ago, I heard about the Bribespot
app for your smartphone that allows you to report bribery and see where it
happening using the mapping tool. That would hide your identity when making
your bribery report.
additional commentary on developments in compliance and ethics, visit Compliance Building,
a blog hosted by Doug Cornelius.
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