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Meet the Tweeting Pothole Helping to Improve the Roads in Panama City

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First we had a tweeting shark, and now a piece of damaged road is also getting in on the act. El Hueco Twitero ('The Tweeting Pothole') is the central character of a bizarre initiative to improve the road quality in Panama City. In a response to increasing complaints about the street quality, a local agency called Ogilvy & Mather placed special sensors in known potholes across the city.

Every time a car drives over one of them, the Twitter account is prompted to send out a message to the local Department of Public Works lamenting the fact that the pothole hasn't been fixed yet. Being that the account is supposed to be from the point of view of some kind of weird, sentient hole in the road, the tweets are often very apologetic, with the pothole expressing regret that it has to sit there day by day putting drivers at risk.

It's a pretty outlandish concept for sure, but evidence suggests that it is working. A video published by the agency shortly after the initiative was put into effect shows that numerous potholes have been filled in where sensors had previously been placed. Beyond that, the minister of public works appeared on television to address the issue. The public nature of the campaign and its ability to illustrate just how many potholes are out there, as well as how many cars are driving over them on a daily basis are likely the reasons why it's working so well, people phoning or emailing to complain is easy enough to play down but this isn't the kind of thing you can just sweep under the rug.



El Hueco Twitero isn't anywhere near the most followed inanimate object on Twitter though. At only a little over 3000 followers, the sorrowful little crater is beaten by Big Ben (468,000), Edvard Munch's classic painting 'The Scream' (4,799), Brian Wilson's beard (14,000) and utterly dwarfed by the Curiosity Mars Rover (1,900,000). That being said, it's still leagues ahead of the Inanimate Carbon Rod, which despite having achieved the coveted worker of the week award from Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, still only has a paltry 455 followers. Such an injustice.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Meet the Tweeting Pothole Helping to Improve the Roads in Panama City Reviewed by Callum Davies on Friday, June 05, 2015 Rating: 5

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