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Justyn Hintze 9 min read

Can Apps and Social Media Help Fight Injustice?

JustynheadshotI was scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning, and a friend of mine posted a blackout photo, alongside a note about her anger, her hurt, and her responsibility toward Charleston.

She said something that resonated with me:

“This hate, it is perpetrated day in and day out in our society. This hate is woven into our societal structure and only by us addressing it and making aggressive moves to eradicate it will it ever improve. This is a call to make moves, my generation. We have Instagram, we have social media, collaboration and collective action IS possible. Admit your privilege and fight against the system that made you so.”

She’s right. We have tools and access to help us fight back and generate awareness. It’s critical that we are on the ground working and educating and listening. But, social media and technology are hugely integrated into our daily lives, and as nonprofit campaigners we should use them to create real change.

Below is list of social media apps and tools created to fight injustices and isms, particularly racism. Perhaps one of these apps will spark some ideas for your own nonprofit tech.


Stop and Frisk Watch App

“Stop and Frisk Watch” is a free and innovative smart phone application that empowers New Yorkers to monitor police activity and hold the NYPD accountable for unlawful stop-and-frisk encounters and other police misconduct.

The app is available in English on both Android and iPhone devices and Spanish in the Android version, thanks to a translation by Make the Road New York. Stop and Frisk Watch allows bystanders to fully document stop-and-frisk encounters and alert community members when a street stop is in progress.

As of last November, the app had been downloaded more than 30,000 times and the New York Police Department’s use of street stops declined by more than half, according to the ACLU.

Download it here.


Mobile Justice App

Mobile Justice CA is an easy way to record and report interactions with law enforcement. All footage and reports submitted through this app will be sent immediately to your local ACLU affiliate.

Mobile Justice CA has three main functions: Record, Report and Witness. As soon as you stop recording, the video will be automatically sent to the ACLU. The Witness feature allows you to know if people around you are getting stopped by the law enforcement. There’s also an option called: Lock Screen on Recording (Available only on Android version). It’s recommended that you check this feature to have your screen automatically lock when you start recording. This will secure your device so that no one can stop you without knowing the password to you phone.


Versions of the Mobile Justice CA app are currently available in Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York and Oregon. There are plans for other states to roll out the app. Please contact your local ACLU.

Officially, Mobile Justice CA is intended for use by people in California. However, the app does work in other states and will send videos and reports to an ACLU of California office. If you do use Mobile Justice CA outside of California, we will forward your submissions to your local ACLU if there appears to be a civil rights issue.

Download it here.


Kick It Out: Tackling Racism and Discrimination

Kick It Out has a number of reporting methods available to anybody who has seen, heard or been on the receiving end of discriminatory abuse in a football environment. One incident is too many, and supporters, players, managers and clubs at all levels of the game have a part to play in maintaining a policy of zero tolerance.

Kick It Out is not a regulatory body and therefore not responsible for administering sanctions and punishments. Their role is to raise the complaint with the club or governing body concerned and monitor the case to ensure appropriate action is taken.

Whether you are a fan or coach, player or administrator, referee or physio, groundsman or steward, the app allows you to file complaints confidentially and anonymously.

By reporting abuse, whether it is racism, antisemitism, homophobia, sexism or disability abuse, you are helping to tackle discrimination in football at all levels.

Download it here.


I’m Getting Arrested

I'm Getting Arrested is an app that enables anyone, with one click, to broadcast a custom message to SMS numbers in the event that they are arrested. It was inspired by a real Occupy Wall Street incident, and they note that the app is free to the 99%.

They’re adding languages with each update, and seeking volunteers for translations. The app currently supports: Arabic, Basque, Catalan, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Download it here.



Five-0 is an Android App, developed by high school students, that allows citizens to record and store data from every encounter with law enforcement.  Find out how people in your community rate your local law enforcement (like Yelp for the local police force).  Submit your reviews and share them with family, neighbors, media, and the international community.  By rating and reviewing law enforcement, you can help to create a safer community for all.

Download it here.


Are there any apps or platforms that you’ve found are helpful in grassroots organizing, or social justice?