A2 – Week 6 – Social Media and Disaster

110318-N-SB672-773 SUKUISO, Japan (March 18, 2011) An aerial view of Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force personnel and disaster relief crews searching Sukuiso, Japan for victims of a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McCord/Released)

110318-N-SB672-773
SUKUISO, Japan (March 18, 2011) An aerial view of Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force personnel and disaster relief crews searching Sukuiso, Japan for victims of a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McCord/Released)

Photo credit: Emergency vehicles search for victims of earthquake/tsunami. via (C.C. License)

Natural disaster is something that can happen at any time anywhere which caused the most damage to human being. People are always trying to confront and overcome the affect after the natural disasters. For example, Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 and Nepal Earthquake in 2015 were two of terrible disasters which caused of thousands of dead people and destroyed facilities. However, social networks have become common in life and it is increasingly developing in supporting people in danger by many ways. Although social networks takes an important roles in creating a huge connect networks to support and rescues people in danger, it is also take advantages by someone for bad purposes.

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Photo credit: Nepal earthquake 2015 via (C.C. License)

Social Network takes part in connecting and communicating for everyone after disaster. In fact, after the earthquake in Japan in 2011, telephone lines disrupted, most of the people contacted their relatives by email, text, messages on Twitter or Facebook. Besides that, it also showed the strength of social network was bigger than ever. On Twitter, people can use hashtag #Japan, #JPQuake, #PrayForJapan, etc to inform people about things relating to the earthquake. Google also created Crisis Response about all information about the earthquake and the other tool Person Finder to find people in the disaster. Few weeks ago, Nepal had to bear an earthquake, what ended the life of more than 8000 people. #NepalEarthquake, #Nepal, #EarthquakeNepal, #nepalquake were the most hashtag used on Twitter. Google also supported people to find their relatives on Finder, and its crisis maps with information about the earthquake. Facebook also had their own way for people to check-in safety from the earthquake. Moreover, they also can donate their money on Facebook.

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Photo credit: Nepal earthquake 2015 via (C.C. License)

On the other hand, social network is also creating much annoying and being used for wrong purposes after the disaster. As mentioned above about Facebook supporting for Nepal Earthquake, they gave out the feature for people to check-in safety from the earthquake. However, a number of Facebook users in the U.S. and around Europe are using Facebook’s Safety Check feature to mark themselves as “safe” following the Nepal earthquakes. It seems they are using the wrong purpose of that tool which allows family and loved ones to check in with those in the area affected by the quakes to let them know they’re safe. The problem is they are not in Nepal and some of them don’t really where Nepal is and how bad of the Nepal Earthquake.

Photo credit: Social Media Dataflows via (C.C. License)

Once again, social network is part of the revolution of communication. In the past, people could get the information and communicate each other by many ways as word-of-mouth, radio, telephone, and TV. Nowadays, it is the era of internet where social media is a higher level of communication. For my opinion, social network not only helps connecting people by distance, it also creates many opportunities to support communities, especially in the circumstance of natural disaster. It is easier and faster than old ways in the past. Although there are many people takes advantage by using social network for disaster like scam, I still believe in the bright future of social network in the area of community support.

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