— Pushing the velocity of bad news to new highs, Twitter continued
Wednesday to connect the world with the devastating earthquake in
translating the tragedy into 140-character cries of desperation, broken
sentences of solidarity and links to photographs too heartbreaking for
“WE NEED HELPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!” was one of the first tweets reportedly sent by Haitian TV host
In the moments and hours that followed, Twitter once
again became the global go-to channel for eyewitness reports, this time
on the devastation in the capital of
One example: After tapping the microblogging site
early Wednesday to show people how they could contribute to aid relief
through a simple cell phone text, the
Hours before most traditional news gatherers had arrived in
in spite of the nation’s bare-bones communications infrastructure.
Photos of the dead and injured, along with the collapsed buildings that
entombed them, flooded sites like TweetPhoto and Twitpic.
And around the globe, strangers weighed in with
promises of financial support and impromptu prayers compressed into
Haiku-like passages that could fit on a cocktail napkin.
“We are not as disconnected as we might think we are,” said
“When that happens, people want to observe and participate,” he said.
“Social media allows them to come to the aid of people struck by tragedy. It’s what a community does.”
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