Pay a bribe, go straight to the web

The Times today has a story on a ipaidabribe.com, a site started in India that exposes petty corruption to the harsh light of public scorn. The idea is if you’re shaken down for a bribe you post about it, and suddenly you’re not alone. The veil of fear and secrecy that protects corrupt officials or business people is gone, and their victims gather strength in numbers. Brilliant.

We spoiled Americans just have no concept how good we have it. By and large, we don’t have to worry that when we go to the DMV, or the county courthouse, we’ll be forced to pay a little something-something extra to get the government services we are entitled to. In many parts of the world, that’s just part of the deal. It’s corrosive on a society. Why play fair when no one else does? I sometimes fear that our lack of awareness about the dangers of endemic corruption leaves us vulnerable to it.

The Times story suggests that ipaidabribe.com is having trouble finding funds to sustain itself. If they had a “Donate Now” button on their home page, I would. But they don’t. They should. 

NYT: Web Sites Shine Light on Petty Bribery Worldwide