At the time of this writing, #HurricaneHarvey is an active tropical cyclone causing catastrophic flooding in southeastern Texas.
So many calls came into 911 in the Houston area this past weekend, many began turning to social media for help. Facebook activated its Safety Check, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army accepted donations via text message, and a Reddit thread was kept up-to-date with news, requests and information to aid in the effort of recovery.
Here’s a sampling of brands that came aboard ships #HurricaneHarvey and #HoustonStrong to aid in the recovery effort:
BONUS (via Elite Daily): Snapchat is one example of our digital generation using its features as a way to respond to the horrific devastation in Houston. By accessing Snap Map — the app’s real-time feature — those in Texas (and beyond) can see how Hurricane Harvey has affected particular areas in terms of flooding and damage. Not only does this allow users to keep track of what’s going on in their neighborhood, but it’s a way for them to stay up-to-date with family, friends, and their property.
But, for all this social good, there’s another side: a flood of misinformation. False claims The New York Times [x] has spotted so far include:
- Media outlets and social media users sharing outdated flood photos.
- Individuals hoping to pass on helpful information may be unintentionally spreading a scam that targets hurricane victims.
- Critics of President Trump are misinterpreting the actions of former President Obama.
- Those awed by the apocalyptic scenes of sharks swimming up freeways are breathing new life into a fake image that makes the rounds of social media during major hurricanes.