I had the pleasure today of listening to Dr Suat Gezgin school of communication Istanbul university on the Van earthquake 2011 and the power of social media. It offers insights into how journalists and citizens leveraged power over companies to support the relief effort as well as mobilising aid among the people.
The Van earthquake in Turkey was the biggest earthquake in Turkish history October 23 2011. Despite suffering earthquakes in the past the Republic had an uncoordinated response to the disaster so the citizens started the social responsibility for the campaigns over traditional media. 500000 messages were sent on Facebook to spread the news about the social responsibility to collect aid Turkey has a high penetration and high use if social media Facebook penetration is 40%. google commissioned it's person finder system in response to the earthquake. It was also used in Haiti and Japan earthquake. twitter was actively used after the earthquake, by citizens and journalists It can help appeals to corporate companies - and they organised and announced their responses News was being disseminated across platforms from Tv and twitter Journalist Ahmet Tezcan started his my home is your home campaign and subsequently won government support. 17,000 people supported the campaign - providing shelter for those people who had lost their homes. There was also information pollution on twitter as news was spread so fast. Onur airlines exploited the situation and there was a backlash on Facebook.
Cuneyst- Ozdemir one of the best known journalists in turkey and he had 302,000 followers - when he communicated with his followers these were spread virally on other platforms. So he acted like a bridge Journalist Sinan Dirlik started a popular campaign that targeted the power of consumerism. His first trucks then shopping movement. So consumers only agreed to re-consumer their products once they had confirmed trucks of their products to help with the recovery effort.
Global stars such as Rihanna informed her followers of the disaster. So she started the 'we are praying for all of you'. AKUT search and rescue association used twitter to locate victims who were stuck urn buildings. in this way it acted like a lifesaver and a crisis centre for the earthquake. All the phone lines collapsed during the first few days as everyone saturated the network