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Did social media save Nayati Moodliar?

Last week, a friend who lives in Kuala Lampur posted a disturbing Facebook entry. Her neighbor, Nayati Moodliar, a small boy of 12, was pulled into a car by two men on his walk to school. The kidnapping spurred an international social media campaign and mobilized the community. Instead of going to work or school, families living in the community spent 24/7 shifts manning phones and spreading word of the incident through social media. Nayati's parents used Facebook to post pictures with a plea to send a 'virtual hug' that Nayati would be found. His father went to Twitter to say, “To the captors, you may be captors too. So I pray for your release. That U may find the compassion to set Nayati free”. Nayati's schoolmates placed videos on YouTube, appealing for his safe return and urging the public to spread the word via their social networks.

Amazingly, after six tense days and a viral social media campaign to help find him, Nayati was found unharmed. His overjoyed father was quoted as saying, "This entire week has not only been a story of Nayati's kidnap. It has been a story of compassion, courage and love which highlighted the goodness inherent in everyone".

Indeed the story of Nayati Moodliar’s kidnapping was not only that of his disappearance – but also of how his family and community used social media to mobilize international support to find him.  It also raises a more profound question. Does Nayati's return prove there is a greater good in the world that can be harnessed? Can collective intention influence the physical world? I don't know the answer but I do know that I gave that virtual hug and it felt good to know that Nayati had returned home.  Furthermore, this family gets my vote for launching the most successful social campaign of 2012!

Welcome home Nayati.


7 Responses

  1. Pam Fahey says:

    Tami, thank you so much for your blog. It’s amazing what a big part Facebook played in this story. Here at the condo we have a Facebook group and we were easily able update everyone and post what was needed to help the family. After Nayati was released we were quickly able to throw together an awesome welcome home party by alerting everyone on FB. According to the press this is the first time Kidnappers have used FB to communicate with the family. Let’s hope it’s the last.

    • Ade says:

      I would love to organize a skype event here at Red Smith School in Green Bay, WI! I have a great group of 6th grade Battle of the Books merebms, and also an awesome 7/8 grade group of library helpers, all of them huge readers. What a great way to get schools new to Skype involved (my school included).[]

  2. Thanks Pam. I’m glad you liked the post. It’s an amazing story – a testimony to Nayati, his family and the community.

    • Feride says:

      Posted on incredible, that was a very good read. In cusolonicn, someone who actually thinks and understands what they are blogging about. Quite difficult to find of late, especially on the web . I bookmarked your web blog and will make sure to keep coming back here if this is how you always write. thank you, keep it up! .

  3. Beth says:

    Priceless! And yes, I believe there’s good in this world and you just never know what little or big aspect will bring it out in a person especially under distress. As people and law enforcement turn to social media for solving crimes does it also show these ill minded people there’s no where to hide? I sure hope so!

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