George Bush doesn’t care about black people. Thoughts on social media and disaster relief.

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In 2010 a 7.0 earthquake struck 25 miles west of Port-au-Prince Haiti. Just after 48 hours $8 million was raised by the Red Cross because of social media such as twitter and facebook. The Red Cross eventually raised about half a billion dollars for the building of permanent homes. When it was all said and done only 6 were built. There were several key factors that caused Red Cross to drastically underperform but that is for another post. I want to talk about the use of social media during natural and manmade disasters, and specifically what social media gets right and what it gets wrong.

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What Occupy Wall Street got wrong

In September of 2011 the Occupy Wall Street Movement was a divisive development in American culture. I remember watching news anchors and their guests hotly debate the relevance of the protests, while being comfortably disengaged from the whole argument myself. I would check up on facebook (back when when i still had one) and observe friends, and acquaintances dribble out meaningless slacktivism.

For me the protest was a good thing, it brought to light the social injustice and demanded reform of the U.S.’s financial sectors, but i was not inclined to go out and protest nor engage in meaningless social media rants on the topic. I honestly could not care either way, I had my own life to run and worry about.

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