Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Earthquake in Japan: the role of the Internet

The Internet has been a permanent and essential source of information about the horrible tragedy that took place this 11th of March in Japan. Twitter and Wikipedia have been the best and most important sources to get updated information. These are just one of the two examples of how the news about the Earthquake have spread through the web. Facebook, Google and Youtube have also played a main role, together with digital newspapers such as The New York TimesBBC or El Mundo

Twitter. In Tokyo alone, twitter reports that 1,200 minutes are been sent per minute, providing an insightful overview of the situation. 

Wikipedia. A group of contributors opened a page detailing important information related to the earthquake. Twelve hours since the earthquake hit, that page was edited more than 500 times. 

As well as associating with Save the Children and The Red Cross, facebook has published an album which shows, nearly every hour, which countries are commeting the most about the earthquake. 

Google. They set off a very useful tool to find people and a web page with the latest news. Google Maps reported the exact positions of the affected locations, shelters in Tokyo, the eathquake's epycentre and more. Finally, images (which have been used all over the world) of the most devastated areas before and after the tsunami were published.

Youtube. Citizentube showed the most raw footage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

This is an example of the main role that social networks and digital newspapers are acquiring. Nowadays, they are one of the main sources of information, in fact, they are the fastest and the most efficient way to reach the most updated information. In extreme cases like this one, people need to be in constant communication and getting information as rapidly as possible. 


  1. Another case of Internet governance has emerged amid Japan's triple catastrophe. According to latest reports, the Chinese government has been accused of interfering with the Google’s Gmail account system and of slowing down Google’s Person Finder for the Japan earthquake and tsunami. The real battle of the fight between China and Google continues…

  2. Nowadays the participatory web pages like the social networks have become so used and a day a day tool, that only with these we could be informed about what happens around the world. Through these sites we knew, even before the newspapers publised the news, what was occurring in Japan, and told by people who were living the tragedy.