pigspotkzn useage and code of conduct

Posted on May 5, 2011

How it all started

@Pigspotkzn and @Pigspotterkzn were created in 2010. The original (in)famous @pigspotter was up and running and I thought it was a great idea. I started submitting updates to Cliff, and after a while he responded saying @pigspotter was for Jhb only. No problemo, @Pigspotkzn was born. At the time I also created @pigspotterkzn thinking people searching for a kzn spotter may find that one and then could just be redirected. In hindsight, not such a good idea as it just created confusion. Anyhow, its all done. Rather follow this account (@pigspotkzn) than @pigspotterkzn, it has more followers and activity.

Cliff does a really great job with @pigspotter and seems to live full time on twitter. Since I didn’t have that luxury of time and still wanted a community for KZN I investigated and found a retweet service (Spotd) which seemed as though it would do the job. It has done a great job bar a few patches of downtime (mainly due to twitter API changes).

So why this code of conduct then?

The community has been remarkably well behaved. This document is intended to keep it that way through self regulation, and provide some hints and tips on using the service.

The retweet service works such that any tweet that starts with @pigspotkzn (or @pigspotterkzn) is picked up and retweeted by the service, placing the originators name at the end of the tweet preceded by a ~.

This means that there is no censorship. Badly behaved users will offend others and can cause chaos. Not the makings of a good community. For the most part we have been lucky and this hasn’t happened except for one incident where some insults and abuse were hurled around, @pigspotkzn was accused of being racist and a section of the community threatened to leave. I only found these posts a few hours laters, stepped in and deleted them (which is always hit and miss on twitter), apologised to the offended and asked the offenders to please behave. Thankfully that was that and within a day all was back to normal.

Still, it got me thinking at the time that given there was no code of conduct, the @pigspotkzn community had been quite fortunate that people were generally respectful of each other. Let’s keep it that way.

As an aside, the re-tweet service ONLY picks up tweets beginning with @pigspotkzn or @pigspotterkzn, so tacking it onto the end of a tweet or including it in the middle will result in your tweet not being sent out. So if you thought your were being ignored for any other reason, thats the only one.

So when does the lengthy code of conduct begin?

Never, and right now. Let’s get into it.

  • Avoid using swear words. I know a lot of the tweets relate to being stuck in traffic and we all get very frustrated. We understand 🙂 Humour is perhaps a better way to defuse the tension for all of us. And pictures of the offending traffic are welcomed too.
  • Try not to abuse our traffic officers. They have a tough job. Some of them may be arrogant and insenstive, but there are a lot of helpful and pleasant ones too. Let’s not tar them all with the same brush. Follow @amsammy if you don’t believe me.
  • Don’t abuse our fellow contributors. If people mess up, get locations, times, directions all wrong, ask for more info in a polite way that encourages others to contribute.
  • Tell all your friends about @pigspotkzn and encourage them to view and participate. This is a really awesome service and it is us, the community, that make it so.
  • If you don’t like the service, you don’t need to spam the followers, you are welcome to unfollow.
  • Constructive criticism is always welcome.
  • @pigspotter has a policy of not tweeting about roadblocks after dark, primarily because of the number of drunk drivers on our roads and encouraging them is not a good thing. @pigspotkzn hasn’t formally implemented such a policy, but please use common sense. I don’t support criminal activity and I am sure you don’t either.  So if you see a booze bus pulling over people over the limit, perhaps you don’t want to share about it, I don’t.

That’s it. If you have any additions or modifications you would like to see, add them to the comments and we can make it so.


 What kind of content should we be sharing on @PigspotKZN : Poll

There are often comments and complaints on what people are sharing, so here is your chance to have your say and what you want to see.

To guage this a poll has been set up, you can find it here :


Please participate, vote, and share your comments.

Some abbreviations in common use

  • MT/MC – Mobile Trap/Camera
  • FT/FC – Fixed Trap/Camera
  • TLO – Traffic Lights Out
  • RB – Road Block


How do I get my tweets re-tweeted?

 The re-tweet service looks for all tweets which begin with @pigspotkzn and then retweets them. If you mention @pigspotkzn in the tweet or place it at the end then it will not be re-tweeted. No favouritism or filtering going on there. Sometimes you may see tweets re-tweeted which don’t include @pigspotkzn, these are ones that have been done manually. You will see the timing is erratic, this is due to life intervening.


Other traffic services in KZN and South Africa

For a list of other traffic related twitter accounts to follow check this link.


Finally, thanks for being part of a great community and adding values to your fellow Durbanites.



20 Responses

  1. George:

    Dear Justin and fellow users,

    this discussion on the valid reporting of roadblocks has always been a heated topic and always more prevalent over the festive period, you get some that are against and some that are for them, as per the code of conduct which is widely used to set some sort of order its written in plain text that “@pigspotkzn has a policy of not tweeting about roadblocks after dark, primarily because of the number of drunk drivers on our roads and encouraging them is not a good thing. @pigspotkzn hasn’t formally implemented such a policy, but please use common sense. I don’t support criminal activity and I am sure you don’t either.  So if you see a booze bus pulling over people over the limit, perhaps you don’t want to share about it, I don’t”. It is stated that common sense should be used when disclosing a roadblock and for that very wording you allow users to make their own decision on to report or not, its unfair that you would allow your account to be bullied by pompous complainants because it is in direct opposition of the not formally implemented policy. It is rather simple for users if you don’t like what is tweeted just scroll down your timeline or follow another rwitter handle which strictly prohibits the reporting on roadblocks. Appreciation and thanks to pigspotkzn and users who make the online community what it is.

    26.12.2013 11:51 Reply

  2. Natalie:

    Hi Justin,

    This account (@pigspotkzn) has gotten too far out of control in the past week or so. Offensive name calling, blatant racist stereotyping, bad language, spamming and completely off topic chats have been the order of the day, which has eventually opened this account up to advertising. I understand it is difficult to manage but something needs to be done to get this account back to what it used to, i.e. a very good service to road users.

    Thank you.


    13.09.2013 13:52 Reply

  3. NealS:

    You have followers who dont understand this service e.g flyingdutchman people go on about dont tweet this and that. They should unfollow if they dont like people tweeting about roadblocks but condone tweeting about cameras – duh ! I have decided to unfollow because you dont stop this nonsense. All the best ps Cliff ?@PigSpotter doesnt have this issues. Check up on what he is doing right.

    07.09.2013 22:17 Reply

  4. Francois5:

    Hi there Justin.
    One complaint….. There’s been a trend lately that people are using this service as a chat group & a medium to convey their political views & when you tell them to stop they get angry. Can you look into this please.

    02.05.2013 00:23 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Francois

      Will try monitor a bit more closely over the next few days and ban anyone who gets out of hand.


      02.05.2013 18:55 Reply

  5. Adam:

    I think code of conduct should also include discouraging the asking of questions, eg “how is the road between…and ……?”. I want to hear about problems, not where people are going.

    25.10.2012 08:03 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Adam
      Sometimes seeing those kinds of messages can be a bit annoying, though I have noticed that people posting questions like that often result in a reply, from someone who usually would not send messages through to @pigspotkzn. So we sit with a bit of a dilemma, which we can monitor and see how it turns out. I need to figure out how to get a quick poll running on here and then can throw it out to the community.

      What annoys me more is completely off-topic advertising type posts. That is just complete abuse of the community.


      28.10.2012 18:47 Reply

  6. Nathan Smith:

    Could you please help me find pigspotter for Pretoria

    01.10.2012 00:15 Reply

  7. Suraksha Ramandh:


    14.09.2012 13:29 Reply

  8. Roland Robertson:

    its a good page and i would like to know what is going on out there on the roads

    07.06.2012 11:07 Reply

  9. hi there, do you also broadcast on BBM:


    03.05.2012 16:15 Reply

    • Justin:

      No, at this time there isn’t a BBM group for pig spotter kzn

      03.05.2012 17:42 Reply

  10. fires:

    @pigspotterkzn:I couldn’t help notice that the last update I got was about 17 hours ago. Don’t you work weekends?

    24.03.2012 08:45 Reply

    • Justin:

      The service uses an automated retweet system so operates 24×7 unless there are technology challenges.

      There are more users in the @pigspotkzn community with over 30 updates a day on average so i would suggest following that one too.


      24.03.2012 14:17 Reply

  11. Elvera:

    good work

    04.03.2012 10:41 Reply

  12. Elvera:

    good work keep it up thank you

    04.03.2012 10:40 Reply

  13. kesavan Gounden:

    Itz a wonderful idea thanks so much

    19.10.2011 21:42 Reply

    • Justin:

      Keep spreading the word and participating 🙂

      20.10.2011 17:38 Reply

  14. FezzaKzn:

    Great work Justin! Keep it up. We will definitely keep the community thriving.

    Time for the people to unit against the evil forces of traffic, and outdated all of the unnecessary traffic controls that go with it. Viva freedom, Viva.

    08.05.2011 09:59 Reply

  15. Public Servant:

    I received your link on my wall – http://www.Facebook.com/TrafficKZN – a traffic & updates page for KZN not only for Traffic and it is linked to the Twitter Profile @PublicServantKN.

    08.05.2011 07:23 Reply

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