Undoubtedly, the tragedy in Haiti is not to be taken lightly. So, it is refreshing to see social media taking an active and positive role in helping the people of Haiti. Nearly every social media outlet conceivable has provided its members with an opportunity to donate to the cause.
Twitter and Facebook have had massive success in helping the American Red Cross reach a record $22 million. Yesterday President Obama’s first and only Tweet (thus far) urged users to help Haiti. The top trending topics for Twitter over the past few days dealt mainly with donations. One of the main messages that social media users are circulating on these sites is “Text ‘Haiti’ with your cell phone to ‘90999’ and your cell phone account will be billed $10.00 for the text, which will be donated to the Red Cross through your phone company.” Text/SMS donations for the Haiti disaster have been record-setting.
The social media response to this emergency is even more fascinating as an information and news outlet. Aside from helping to raise money for the disaster, social media is also generating greater awareness. Twitter has been recognized by the Nielsen Company, as one of the major sources of information about the disaster. Similarly, YouTube users are sharing some of the only video footage obtainable.
The Haiti disaster relief efforts put forth by social media sites and their users have shown us that social media has the potential to bring people together; not only for fun, but also when it matters most.
To learn more about the Haitian Earthquake on Facebook, click here.
To find out more about the American Red Cross SMS Campaign, and learn how to donate, please click here to visit the American Red Cross website.
To donate online to the Haiti Relief and Development fund, please click here.