Nepal earthquake – Facebook safety check, Google public alerts #smem

Today, a 7.8 earthquake with multiple aftershocks hit Nepal. In the past, Google and Red Cross offered the opportunity with their apps to check in on people and to mark oneself with “I’m ok”.

Google Public Alerts page
Google Public Alerts

When you search on Google for Nepal earthquake, the site displays a public alert in bright orange featuring the main pieces of information needed: impact, tips from Ready.gov, selected tweets related to the tweets from vetted sources, such as the Indian Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,  and major news outlets.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, posted a note indicating the launch of a new feature as well. I am connected to people who are in the region  it truly provided peace of mind when they both checked themselves in as safe. My notifications popped up with a green button allowing me to see that they marked themselves as safe. The good people at Twitter didn’t seem to jump on the bandwagon. They usually they set up pages to display all relevant information in one place for big events, such as elections or the Superbowl. Disappointed that they are not supportive.

Facebook Safety Check
Facebook Safety Check 

 

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About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

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