Social media has revolutionized the way people collect information. One field where this is evident is in the reporting of natural disasters. Conventionally, news outlets would be the first to cover disasters upon which the public would be aware of the situation. Today, the order has shifted. People affected by the natural disasters are often the first ones to cover the unfolding of events, damages, and casualties as they happen. It has become less of collect then publish but rather publish then collect.
Most recent example of such a phenomenon is the country of the Philippines devastated by the Typhoon Haiyan. Recorded as the worst case of typhoon in the history of earth, the Typhoon Haiyan left thousands dead and brought horrible damages. As a response, the victims and supporters united and utilized social media to provide relief. Due to under resourced government, victims are using social media to bring attention to different communities. They list different supplies needed and send out mayday calls through whatever social media possible. In addition, social media is incorporated to account for causalities and locate people who are missing.
In many ways, the increasing relevance of social media has brought many positive changes in the distribution of information. It is much easier for people across the world to be aware of disasters such as one in Philippines and increase relief efforts from across the world as well.
Be sure to check out http://www.redcross.org.ph/donatenow for ways of providing donations and support for this disaster.