The earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday was terrible and we’re still not too sure how bad the devastation is yet. What we have seen so far on CNN and FoxNews has all come from people’s use of Social Media. People in Haiti are using Twitter and Facebook to let people see images of how badly damaged the country is.
Facebook already has pages up to let people post photos of missing loved ones, in the hope that people will respond and let them know if they are found. The couple of videos on CNN last night and this morning came from user videos posted to YouTube.
So while people may scoff at Social Media as merely a time waster, in this tragedy in Haiti, Social Media proves once again that it can be a powerful tool. Just like in Iran, the first messages out, before reporters can fly in, are coming from Twitter and Facebook. The images that we’re seeing are actual eyewitness accounts, from locals on the ground. We no longer need to wait for Anderson Cooper to get his bearings in a new country, we can be fed the news almost immediately, by those most affected by it.
I predict that Social Media will only continue to grow into a news force. Sure, people will still use FaceBook to play Farmville, but when dister stikes, they’ll also use it to get their important message out.
Hopefully, with the use of the internet and Social Media, people will be able to find their loved ones quickly.