Social media and the 2008 Sichuan earthquake

The Internet and social networks played a large role in how the world learned about the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China.

More than 68,000 were killed including children in schools that collapsed because the buildings were not built correctly. The image below is that of a local official prostrating himself, asking for forgiveness from grieving parents. 

In this case, access to information from the social network helped to keep the government accountable to quake victims. 

A similar situation emerged during the 2009 elections in Iran where protesters used Twitter to communicate with the rest of the world. As you read the article linked above, look through the photographs in the Multimedia section and see if you can find people using social networking tools (cell phone cameras).

  • Can you find other examples of when social networks were used during a crisis or important news event?
  • Can you think of a project in your local community that would benefit from a social network?
  • Are there issues in your school that could be discussed on a social network? Is there a downside or risk to doing this?