Follow2unfollow: using social media to drive social change

Ivan Castano

Using social networks to solve a major social problem was the primary aim of Follow2unfollow, an innovative campaign launched by Puerto Rico's government in October 2012 to help fight soaring crime rates on the Caribbean island. This effort was created by the San Juan office of Starcom MediaVest Group, and proved to be so successful that the agency has since received interest from several governments around the world keen to launch similar initiatives in their countries.

The challenge

Follow2unfollow – or "Sigueme para que no me sigas" in Spanish – was the first ever Twitter campaign to use tweets from real inmates in prison as a deterrent to breaking the law. During a presentation at The Festival of Media LatAm 2013, a conference held in Miami from September 25-27, Alejandro Rosado, Starcom's innovation director, and Damarisse Martinez, former communications advisor to the Correctional and Rehabilitation Department of the Puerto Rican government, explained the origins of the scheme and outlined some of its results.