Twitter and the earthquake: how solidarity travels along the social sphere
In recent months we had already observed as the social sphere had become receptive to major natural disasters: from the last summer earthquake in Turin (we talked about it in the post Earthquake in Turin, the news runs on social networks) to the recent tsunami in Indonesia (Sumatra and the tsunami alert on Twitter).
Few days ago around 9 o’clock a strong earthquake has hit the whole north of Italy, making the situation even more complicated in Emilia Romagna region, already affected by a seismic event last week.
Regardless of the reaction rate (the news was first given by the people of the social network and not by the official channels of communication) that justifies a more “personal” approach of every user, we experienced a real solidarity race through Facebook and Twitter.
Especially Twitter, thanks to its retweet system, has spread like wildfire key information for the public interest and calls for collaboration in providing support to the rescuers. Let’s have a look:
This is a phenomenon already observed in Japan last year during the terrible earthquake that struck the country in March.
Being observers and researchers of social media, we can now see how these tools are finally reaching full maturity, as well as the users that populate them are increasingly aware of how – beyond the recreational side – there is a huge potential to communicate even in particularly critical situations.
It’s a quantum leap that we can not underestimate, considering that still too much people see tools as Twitter just as meeting spaces without any utilities.
Sure, a few more questionable episodes can happen, but it’s nice to see that the users themselves reject certain behaviors by calling the unwise brands to order.