When a tragic event like the terrorist attacks in Paris happens, traditional news coverage can shock us, panic us and anger us. But social media can empower us.
On Friday the 13th when Facebook activated Security Check they helped people all around the world to connect with each other when they desperately needed to. Over 4 million Facebook users marked themselves as safe and helped 360 million loved ones to breathe a sigh of relief.
For everyone else who wanted to express their support, Facebook provided a tricolour transformation of profile pics that helped people from all over the planet to become part of an emotional outpouring.
And Twitter rolled up its sleeves and got to work too. When the Metro was shut down and people were trapped in the city on a cold November night, residents reached out to Parisians and tourists, inviting them into their homes to seek shelter. In an act of true fraternity locals opened their doors and started tweeting #porteouverte
Nobody really knows how G20 leaders will respond to this and other attacks. But one thing’s for sure. Ordinary people will continue to respond in lots of little ways. And they’re weapon of choice in this war will be social media.
Peter Goodall is BCM’s Creative Director