Aug 31, 2017

How social media is used in a crisis

Brian Hajeski, 41, of Brick, N.J., reacts after looking at debris of a home that washed up on to the Mantoloking Bridge the morning after superstorm Sandy rolled through, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Mantoloking, N.J. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Social media proved to be a key search-and-rescue tool in Houston this weekend. Identifying those who needed to be evacuated, connecting families, and recruiting volunteers are just a few ways sites like Twitter and Facebook were used.

Here are other ways social media has been used in a crisis:

  • Facebook's Safety Check was used for the first time in the U.S. during the Pulse nightclub shooting.
  • Instagram was used during Harvey by people posting offers for shelter, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
  • A Google doc was made in response to the Boston Marathon bombing, where hundreds of people posted their information, offering food, shelter, and transportation.
  • Twitter was used to post addresses of those still stuck in their homes during Harvey.
  • Snapchat's Snap Maps allowed people around the country to view in real time what was happening in Houston.
  • Facebook has used CrowdTangle in Hurricane Irma to help newsrooms monitor local news outlets, Facebook Groups, and more in a live feed.
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