Links I Liked: Social Media in Emergencies in Mexico, Bangladesh, and the Times Newsroom

My latest collection of interesting links, articles and blog posts:

I’ve been involved in writing social media staff guidelines for a number of humanitarian organisations (example) and so I’m always interested to see what others are doing. The New York Times recently updated their social media staff guidelines. They are practical and contain some useful advice related to maintaining neutrality on social media.

Photo: Antonio MaloMalverde (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Volunteers distribute and collect shovels and other tools in Mexico. Photo: Antonio MaloMalverde (CC BY-SA 2.0) on Flickr.

WIRED reports on how volunteer groups used social media after the recent earthquake in Mexico. The emphasis is on local coordination by local people. The article doesn’t explicitly mention whether official disaster responders were tuned into these conversations, but from the lack of mention I’m guessing that the answer is “not”. The lack of capacity and/or willingness by official disaster responders all over the world to listen to and engage with disaster affected people on social media continues to amaze me. (Check here for a guide how to do it better).

Reuters wrote about how Rohingya in Bangladesh are using WhatsApp audio messages to get news from Myanmar, showing once again how important it is to establish trusted information channels in emergencies and to monitor rumours. If you want to know more about the use of messaging apps in disasters, take a look at this guide by the ICRC and The Engine Room.

Funny, cringeworthy or both? Take your pick 🙂