In a world where social media is becoming second nature, it makes sense that sites we use to keep up with friends and family prove useful for organization and support in a time of crisis.
After the most recent earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office launched an English-language twitter account (@JPN_PMO) to update the world about the earthquake and its horrifying aftermath. The account duplicates the Japanese-language disaster information account (@Kantei_Saigai) but is translated into English. In only eight hours, the account had close to 9,000 followers.
Social media was also recently used to inspire organization in countries experiencing political turmoil. Throughout the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, activists turned to social media to organize protests, and many credit social media for the success of the revolution. According to an article on Miller-McCune.com, a protester in Cairo commented on the phenomenon stating, “We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world”.
By providing new ways to communicate, social media has changed our approach to civic action in a dramatic way and its role will continue to increase as future events occur.