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  • Facebook and Disasters

    Facebook, by far the biggest social media site to date has developed a feature to help people know if their friends or relatives are safe after a disaster hits their area. The company has been coordinating with the New Zealand government to talk about launching the “I’m safe” feature there. The country had its share of not being able to find out if their relatives are safe or not after a devastating earthquake hit Christchurch before. They might have learned from the experiences of around 150 people in Nepal who were able to know the conditions of their loved ones through Facebook.
    Indeed, social media has given quite a big influence on people and it has become the biggest source of communication aside from telephone use. More people are online most of the time because of built-in internet connections on cellular phones so features in helping people communicate fast during a disaster could be very helpful.
    Here’s a link to the article regarding Facebook’s “I’m safe” feature:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/i-m-...-zones-6334837

  • #2
    I agree that social media is a potent tool not only for for disaster situations but also for disaster prevention. However, who is going to read a list of TO DO and NOT WHAT TO DO during a disaster? Facebook users, as we all know, only care for photos and intriguing or controversial posts. No one would care to read a list of preparedness for a disaster. But maybe someone can think of a better way to lure those Facebook users to the cause of disaster preparedness.
    gracer likes this.

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    • #3
      A great notion to stay connected with those they cared about,doesn't imply we dont care for others,but there are people to care for them and these are to our importance.This way,someone will have someone to care/cares about.it is an added advantage that we can track how many of our friends were affected,because it checks the vicinity of the affected areas and we get a concise report of sorts.

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      • #4
        Facebook, like most, if not all social media, relies entirely on a vast and robust commercial infrastructure to do ANYTHING. Sadly, that infrastructure is one of the first things to go away with a disaster or even long term (> 4 or 5 hours) commercial power outage. Depending on cell phones and social media in a disaster is ludicrous and a gross mistake on both FB and their users' part. For FB to even suggest otherwise is pure ignorance or arrogance, choose one - or both.

        Those who have survived or suffered through a disaster will know how quickly that device becomes useless. Social media and phone lines (cellular and landline) all depend on a very fixed amount of bandwidth that only works when a small percentage of users attempt to use that bandwidth at a time. ANY disaster and often many times a celebration will overload that network or exceed the bandwidth capacity of the link and result in dropped calls, busy signals and drastically reduced speeds, if it works at all. Even backup power is limited by fuel on hand and physical cabling.

        In closing, using social media in a disaster is false security and not to be depended on. Users will learn the hard way, and should not be surprised with difficult outcomes.
        fcphdJim likes this.

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        • #5
          It's a nice thought, but remember that even a minor disaster will likely knock out power to many people, and at least some cell towers will likely sustain damage. Accessing Facebook or other social media in the first few hours after a disaster of any kind will likely be impossible.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kd3pc View Post
            Facebook, like most, if not all social media, relies entirely on a vast and robust commercial infrastructure to do ANYTHING. Sadly, that infrastructure is one of the first things to go away with a disaster or even long term (> 4 or 5 hours) commercial power outage. Depending on cell phones and social media in a disaster is ludicrous and a gross mistake on both FB and their users' part. For FB to even suggest otherwise is pure ignorance or arrogance, choose one - or both.

            Those who have survived or suffered through a disaster will know how quickly that device becomes useless. Social media and phone lines (cellular and landline) all depend on a very fixed amount of bandwidth that only works when a small percentage of users attempt to use that bandwidth at a time. ANY disaster and often many times a celebration will overload that network or exceed the bandwidth capacity of the link and result in dropped calls, busy signals and drastically reduced speeds, if it works at all. Even backup power is limited by fuel on hand and physical cabling.

            In closing, using social media in a disaster is false security and not to be depended on. Users will learn the hard way, and should not be surprised with difficult outcomes.
            Originally posted by DancingLady View Post
            It's a nice thought, but remember that even a minor disaster will likely knock out power to many people, and at least some cell towers will likely sustain damage. Accessing Facebook or other social media in the first few hours after a disaster of any kind will likely be impossible.
            You are both right. These are the limitations of using social media for disaster response or management. I must say there are still a lot of things to be considered and improved before we could fully utilize Facebook or any other form of social media in disasters. But if only these things could be managed and improved in the future, the great influence of social media could be put into better use and could even save lives.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DancingLady View Post
              It's a nice thought, but remember that even a minor disaster will likely knock out power to many people, and at least some cell towers will likely sustain damage. Accessing Facebook or other social media in the first few hours after a disaster of any kind will likely be impossible.
              Just what I was thinking. When Facebook announced this one, I was amazed with this idea. However, looking deeper into it, I find it to be hard when it's really a big disaster. Even if signal is up and power is still working, you don't really prioritize updating social media when ypiru life is at risk.

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              • #8
                I think Facebook has been a really influential thing in modern society, but the problem is whether it was good or bad. I know that it could be used for good things just as a knife could be, but it could be used for bad things as well. I don't think Facebook can help a lot, but it did help at certain times in terms of donations and all that. I still think if Facebook didn't exist it would of been done in some other way I'm sure.
                gracer likes this.

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                • #9
                  This is a nice technological innovation, now we can finally have a way to know if our relatives are fine during disasters. Now if they will only delete the Facebook accounts Isis use for recruiting people, then everything will be better. On the other hand , this feature will be very useless during times with no electricity and internet connection. It will really help though to ease he worries of some relatives who wanted to know if their loved one is safe.
                  gracer likes this.

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