Student Uses Twitter To Get Out Of Jail

Was checking my mail earlier morning when this headline from CNN caught my attention: “Freed man now uses Twitter to help friend“. Here’s a short summary and some excerpts from the article that I read from CNN.

james karl buck
James Karl Buck

James Karl Buck, an American student working on a photography project in Egypt for his master’s thesis was arrested together with his interpreter while taking photographs of local anti-government protests over low wages and rising food prices. He was able to get out of jail with the help of Twitter*.

James Karl Buck was released from a Mahalla jail after sending a one-word blog post from his cell phone through the Twitter Web site. The message — “Arrested” — alerted all of his friends on the site of his detention.

When his college found out about the situation, they hired a lawyer who then got him out of prison. Now that he’s a free man, Buck is using his Twitter network (611 followers as of writing) to help free his friend Mohammed Maree.

mohammed maree
Mohammed Maree

“He’s only in prison … because he wanted to help me,” Buck said. “Now I’ve got to repay the favor.”

Mohammed Maree was an Egyptian veterinary student who offered to be his interpreter and help him with his project. Maree is still being detained in prison as of this moment.

CNN’s full story here

‘m currently following Jam

If you’d like to get updates regarding this story and/or join in helping free Mohammed Maree from jail, you can follow James Buck on Twitter – or on his personal blog Journalism is Not a Crime.

*Twitter is a social-networking blog site that allows users to send status updates, or “tweets,” from cell phones, instant messaging services and Facebook in less than 140 characters.

*photos taken from

Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.


  1. Megan Abott

    February 22, 2010 at 4:20 AM

    wow thats incredible, being british this wasn’t even in our news but i wish it had been. Another reason to love twitter lol x

  2. Michael

    May 25, 2009 at 4:18 AM

    with twitter, you can earn money PLUS! you can save a friend hehehe. That was a great story. Thanks for the post.

  3. JP Habaradas

    December 12, 2008 at 6:40 AM

    @vanjohn – You mean ask the readers via poll? I can do that but not right now. But if you ask me, both are useful. In my case, I use Twitter to network with other bloggers and promote my blog. Everytime I publish a new post, it gets published by TwitterFeed as a tweet and becomes my status on Twitter. So everyone who follows me on Twitter sees it. As for Plurk, most of my Filipino online friends and bloggers are there so its like a place to hang out and chat. :D

  4. vanjohnn tiu

    December 12, 2008 at 6:38 AM

    hmmm. I never knew much about Twitter until now, when I just checked it, Jaypee, favor… try asking the viewers, which is more prefferable: Twitter, or Plurk :D

    vanjohnn tius last blog post..Ms. Velez 2008 Final Night! Part 1: Festival Round.

  5. JP Habaradas

    September 10, 2008 at 6:55 AM

    @Hussein – Kahit matagal na yon comment basta hindi ko pa nasagot, nagrereply ako. Was pretty busy with personal stuff and had problems with my laptop. :)

  6. Hussein

    September 10, 2008 at 6:50 AM

    Hala. Tagal na nung comment ko ah. Where have you been? :D

    Husseins last blog post..Why Join Pepperjam Network

  7. JP Habaradas

    September 3, 2008 at 6:15 PM

    @Noreen – Yes it is. Glad you liked that story. Yeah, its been a while but thanks for dropping by and for informing me about your new URL. Take care & have a nice day! :)

  8. Noreen

    September 3, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    wow that’s really interesting!!!!!

    btw, tagal ako di nakadalaw sa blog mo…lumipat na naman ako ng url hehehe TC!

  9. JP Habaradas

    August 28, 2008 at 11:20 PM

    @Laarni – I’m sure there’s also an interesting story involving Plurk but just not as unique and interesting as this. Or maybe, it hasn’t happened yet. :D

  10. Laarni

    August 28, 2008 at 11:18 PM

    Interesting! I wish there is a Plurk story like this din. harhar.

    Laarnis last blog post..Let’s talk about your hair on your pits, girls.

  11. JP Habaradas

    August 27, 2008 at 7:25 PM

    @Mahalia – I know, times change fast and the advancement of technology is very rapid. Who would’ve even imagined something like this happening and how Twitter got a person out of jail. Thanks for sharing. :)

  12. Mahalia

    August 27, 2008 at 7:22 PM

    Fifteen years ago, this would not be possible. My how times change. Good for him he brought his cellfone along. If it were in the days of our lolas, it would have taken years before any word of his arrest. And a few more years for a lawyer to post bond. :wink:

    Mahalias last blog post..Meme na Ining

  13. JP Habaradas

    August 18, 2008 at 8:20 PM

    @Jehzeel – Haha..that’s right. I guess some already did transfer to Plurk but still kept their Twitter accounts open. :)

  14. Jehzeel Laurente

    August 18, 2008 at 8:18 AM

    good thing his twitter followers did not transfer to plurkkkkk :grin:

    Jehzeel Laurentes last blog post..How To Lose Four Inches of Fat in Just Two Weeks?

  15. JP Habaradas

    August 7, 2008 at 9:45 AM

    @Modest – Too bad you didn’t get popular but at least nothing bad happened during your trip and you’re safe. ;)

  16. Modest Prom Dress

    August 7, 2008 at 9:44 AM

    I was just in Mexico and kept telling myself that if I ever got arrested I would do the same thing and become popular in the internet world. But I was all safe and nothing happened.

  17. jerome

    July 21, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Hi. My name is Jerome Herrera. I have a forum called Penster Online. It is a forum where Filipino writers can improve their writing skills and talk
    to each other. The main goal of the forum is to find the writer in every Filipino. I was wondering if you are interested in exchanging links. Penster Online
    can be found at If you are interested, please email me at with the title of your blog/website and the
    address. Thanks and God bless.

  18. JP Habaradas

    July 21, 2008 at 4:50 AM

    @pepPeR – His friend Mohammed Maree was released about 2 months after this story was released. Thanks for the compliment and for dropping by. :D

  19. pEpPeR

    July 21, 2008 at 4:48 AM

    It’s good thing that there are still some people who would take such kind of risk in order to expose some things that the world should also know. I hope that he would be able to help his friend as well to get out from prison. Nice blog.

  20. JP Habaradas

    July 13, 2008 at 6:10 AM

    @Hussein – Yeah, napabayaan ko kasi sobrang busy tapos nasira pa yon laptop ko. Pero eto, I’m back to blogging. Anyways, maraming salamat sa suporta. :)

  21. Hussein

    July 13, 2008 at 6:05 AM

    Oops. Long time no update ah.. :(

    Husseins last blog post..Free Premium WordPress Theme From UBD

  22. JP Habaradas

    July 5, 2008 at 6:10 AM

    @bluepanjeet – Yeah, that’s true and like what Ade mentioned, its good Twitter wasn’t down when it happened.

    (Regarding the PBA this year, my blog isn’t one of the finalists and I don’t even know if it was nominated. Thanks anyways for your support.)

  23. Entrepreneur

    July 5, 2008 at 6:10 AM

    Wow, what an incredible story! And to think that I’ve thumbed my nose at Twitter.

  24. bluepanjeet

    July 5, 2008 at 6:07 AM

    good thing his twitter is wired to his mobile… proof that today’s technology is powerful as ever

    happy weekend bro!

    (PS just checking out your PBA nomination, have no news about it, keep me posted if you need power vote… im behind you!) :wink:

  25. JP Habaradas

    July 4, 2008 at 6:20 PM

    @Ucilelek – What is complicated? The story or how to use Twitter like he did?

  26. Ucilelek

    July 4, 2008 at 6:15 PM

    :roll: so complicated….

    Ucileleks last blog post..About Google Adsense ads Format

  27. JP Habaradas

    July 2, 2008 at 8:40 AM

    @narendra – Yes, very interesting indeed. :D

  28. narendra.s.v

    July 2, 2008 at 8:37 AM

    that really interesting with the use of Twitter :wink:

    narendra.s.vs last blog post..Windows xp gone. what vista got, Did you know?

  29. JP Habaradas

    June 29, 2008 at 11:50 PM

    @Jan – Thanks for the info. :)

  30. Jan Alvin

    June 29, 2008 at 11:47 PM

    WordPress 2.6 will be available this July, check out my blog.

    Jan Alvins last blog post..Download WordPress 2.6 Beta 1

  31. JP Habaradas

    June 25, 2008 at 9:05 PM

    @Manila Freelancer – I’m sure the world would be totally different if the Internet wasn’t invented. A lot of our technology and lifestyle were created because of the Internet. :)

  32. Manila Freelancer

    June 25, 2008 at 9:01 PM

    I cant imagine the world without internet….

    Manila Freelancers last blog post..Top 3 AdSense Alternatives

  33. JP Habaradas

    June 21, 2008 at 9:10 PM

    @homebuddy – It helps to be tech or Internet savvy. Yeah, good thing Twitter wasn’t down and its good that the police didn’t confiscate his cellphone so he was able to use it.

  34. homebuddy

    June 21, 2008 at 9:05 PM

    a way to go to get out of jail. Buti nga talaga Twitter was functioning well that time!

    homebuddys last blog post..Help for Typhoon Frank’s Calamity Victims

  35. JP Habaradas

    June 21, 2008 at 5:55 PM

    @Web Tools – That’s true. This story is not only about Twitter but the power of blogging. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

  36. Web tools & Tips

    June 21, 2008 at 5:52 PM

    This shows the power of blogging. Individual voices are heard.

    Web tools & Tipss last blog post..Orb24 | A decent, if not best "Free File Sharing Program"

  37. JP Habaradas

    June 21, 2008 at 3:10 AM

    @Pinoy Lotto – Yes it is and this is one good example of it. :)

  38. Pinoy Lotto & Gambling Forum

    June 21, 2008 at 3:06 AM

    useful pala ang twitter :grin:

    Pinoy Lotto & Gambling Forums last blog post..foot computer sa poker game

  39. JP Habaradas

    June 18, 2008 at 8:55 AM

    @Destination – Yep, his friend was also released about a month later after this story came out.

  40. Destination Management Services DC

    June 18, 2008 at 8:54 AM

    Good for him. I only hope that his friend will be able to be released as well. It is so lame that we have to be scared of places arresting you for no reason. Especially just taking a picture. I like how new technologies like Twitter are able to help people out like that.

  41. JP Habaradas

    June 18, 2008 at 3:20 AM

    @Kevin – This story was on CNN so most likely they know about it. :)

  42. JP Habaradas

    June 18, 2008 at 2:40 AM

    @Hussein – That’s a good idea. Maybe you can make a post about that on your blog? The only problem I see is that many Filipinos are not that tech savvy to use Twitter. Thanks for sharing though! :)

  43. Kevin Paquet

    June 18, 2008 at 3:17 AM

    The twitter team should know this story, really.

    Kevin Paquets last blog post..Loneliness

  44. Hussein

    June 18, 2008 at 2:36 AM

    Every Filipino must now introduced to twitter. Kidnapping is very popular nowadays here. :evil:

    Husseins last blog post..I Won a Premium Theme From BlogOhBlog!

  45. JP Habaradas

    June 16, 2008 at 1:05 AM

    @Miss Dre – Yeah it is and I wonder what other unique/creative ways Twitter, Plurk or Pownce, etc can be used for. :)

  46. Miss Dre

    June 16, 2008 at 1:01 AM

    Wow, Twitter is quite useful :)

    Miss Dres last blog post..Paranoid Much?

  47. JP Habaradas

    June 8, 2008 at 8:35 AM

    @littlelight – I think the time spent is not really the issue but on how kids use it. I guess its okay to spend a lot of time in the Internet as long as they use it to actually learn something educational or something that can help them, including Twitter. :D

  48. little light

    June 8, 2008 at 8:30 AM

    parents who tell their children not to spend too much time online should read this. :grin:

    little lights last blog post..Top 10 Emerging Influential Bloggers

  49. JP Habaradas

    June 6, 2008 at 7:50 AM

    @bodydetox – Most certainly is!

  50. bodydetox

    June 6, 2008 at 7:46 AM

    :razz: thats a nice way to get out of jail

  51. JP Habaradas

    June 5, 2008 at 7:35 PM

    @Joni – Twitter picked a good time not to go down coz this story is definitely good publicity for them. :)

  52. Joni

    June 5, 2008 at 7:31 PM

    And good thing the twitter pagination wasn’t temporarily disabled. LOL @Ade.

    Jonis last blog post..Learning it the Hard Way

  53. JP Habaradas

    June 5, 2008 at 8:20 AM

    @Ade – I know. I wonder what would’ve happened if Twitter was down and he wasn’t able to use it? :???:

  54. Ade

    June 5, 2008 at 8:18 AM

    Good thing Twitter wasn’t down when it happened.

    Ades last blog post..BREAKING NEWS: Cat Gets Run Over By A Motorcycle, Turns Into A Woman

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