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Business News/ Opinion / Social after floods

Social after floods

The way social media has been used by residents of Chennai to get information across or help those in need has been exemplary


Social media is more than the antics of trolls. As Chennai was battered once again by heavy rain, the way social media has been used by residents of the city to get information across or help those in need has been exemplary.

Most of the social media initiatives in response to the crisis in Chennai have been voluntary. But previous examples of disaster from other parts of the world—be it Haiti or Nepal—show that aggregating social media messages to generate big data can make relief operations even more effective. Data analysts can trawl through thousands of distress messages on social media or telecom networks to identify areas that need the most urgent help.

The voluntary action seen in Chennai also shows that social trust has not exactly disappeared from India. There are ample reports of people throwing open their doors to strangers who have been stranded. It shows that citizens can voluntarily become the first line of defence when governance has collapsed.

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Published: 03 Dec 2015, 01:08 AM IST
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