Social media has become the great connector. Television allowed information to be broadcast to populations, but social media enables people to create news, and interact with the world around them. In the wake of the earthquakes in Nepal, social media sites have been pitching in to help. Some are raising funds, others are using location data and status updates to confirm that survivors are safe.
Facebook has a safety check tool, that scans for friends that may be in the affected area. Users can then send messages to friends in the affected areas, and get automatic updates when friends declare themselves safe.
The American Red Cross has assembled a database that allows users to report missing persons, or to report themselves as safe, and Google also has a similar platform that allows users to upload photos of missing persons, or to search names in the database by SMS.
Crowdfunding platforms have allowed users to quickly organize fundraising efforts, and some campaigns have already collected more than $70,000. Facebook has also featured a donation button at the top of users’ news feeds, and plans to match up to $two-million of donations.
However, Internet users beware: some scams may have popped up in the wake of the disaster as people seek to cash in on a tragedy. App.com provides a list of tips for seeking out the charities that will create the biggest impact and advice for avoiding the scams.
All in all, it seems the majority of people are prepared to help out in any way they can whether its through raising awareness, fundraising, or crowdsourcing. Even big data is pitching in.
Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.