How social networks were used to support those left stranded in the aftermath of the Mumbai bombings
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 15/07/2011 14:13
At 6:54 pm the first bomb went off at Zaveri Bazaar, a crowded marketplace in South Mumbai. In the next 12 minutes two more followed in different locations in the city. Even before the blasts torrential rain meant that roads were clogged. The attacks added to the confusion just as millions of people were returning home from work. With telephone lines jammed, many Mumbaikars turned to a familiar alternative: they posted their whereabouts, and sought those of their close ones, on social networks.
Facebook doubled up as a discussion forum (and sometimes got philosophical). Users on Twitter, meanwhile, exchanged important real-time updates. Moments after the explosions, a link to an editable Google Docs spreadsheet was circulated frantically on the microblogging site. It carried names, addresses and phone numbers of people offering their houses as a refuge to those left stranded. The document was created by Nitin Sagar, an IT engineer in Delhi, 1,200km (720 miles) away.