Today, Twitter is not just considered the fastest means of communication available in this time and age, but also the fastest way to provide help based on humanitarian grounds. In fact, it has unwittingly grown into a medium used to obtain and share information, and provide aid to various people in need.

It didn’t take long for everyone to notice that every current happening spreads like wildfire on Twitter, leading to several studies on the phenomenon, among scientists and the tech world alike. Scientists now have reason to believe that these tweets can be used to extract data about any disasters, including natural calamities.

A prime example of this is ShakeMap, a product of the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program in conjunction with regional seismic network operators. Using this knowledge, in the case of earthquakes, scientists have now created a way to incorporate these tweets in order to form a ShakeMap, which are near-real-time maps of ground motion and shaking intensity following significant earthquakes. This helps in generating faster, more accurate results, data collection and provision of aid to victims.

And it’s not just calamities, any issue someone faces can be put up online and, if supplemented with the appropriate hashtag or seen by the right number of followers, can be viewed by millions of people, who can provide help and take immediate action, faster than any other means. A threatened girl, a person in need of medical help, an emergency, anyone and everyone can appeal for help, and in many cases have found aid in the form of a Good Samaritan on the platform.

Twitter is fast, inexpensive, has an extensive user location base, and acts a platform not just to socialise and network with people and brands, but to collate important data, provide aid, power revolutions and so much more! This just goes to prove the raw power of social media and how its expansion, if used correctly, can be one of the most effective tools in reforming the world.

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