Social media provides lifeline in Haiti

January 16, 2010

With conventional communication channels down, social media has played a central role in connecting people and getting information out of earthquake devastated Haiti. In countless instances, the first word from quake-hit areas was a text message, a Facebook post, a tweet, Flickr images or videos uploaded to Youtube. Preliminary research by Nielsen shows that Twitter posts are the leading source of discussion about the quake, followed by online video, blogs and other online boards/forums.

People worldwide are also responding through online media; hundreds of groups have been formed on Facebook and people are actively donating to relief organizations online. The American Red Cross has raised one million dollars through mobile and online tools and has overall been very effective in using social media to reach out and to keep people updated on the situation on the ground. Immediately after the quake they posted this video which now has been viewed by more than a million people :