More than being the go-to platform for people to keep updated on #WhatsHappening, Twitter provides an avenue for people to participate in events, even in times of crisis. This has been observed when the Philippines’ second most active volcano erupted recently.
With the eruption of Taal Volcano since January 12, Filipinos flocked to Twitter to stay updated on how the situation unfolded in Batangas and nearby provinces, including Metro Manila. People were quick to share updates from where they were, giving the Twiiterverse a picture of the gravity of the incident. Bayanihan – the Filipino spirit of unity was evident on the platform from sharing important essential information to initiating donation drives for afflicted families.
Here’s how Filipinos on Twitter showed bayanihan amidst the calamity:
1. Hashtags for real-time updates
TAAL VOLCANO BULLETIN
20 January 2020, 8:00 AM
— Disaster Information Service PH (@DisasterInfoPH) January 20, 2020
During times of crisis, hashtags can be a powerful tool to stay updated on current affairs. Filipinos, as well as government and/or NGOs, were quick to use hashtags such as #TaalEruption2020, #TaalVolcano, and #WalangPasok to share information and the situation in their area.
2. Following and retweeting verified information from trusted accounts
— Noemi L. Dado (@momblogger) January 13, 2020
Reliable and verified accounts were followed by the Filipinos. People started to retweet from these accounts to help spread pertinent and verified information to help others keep updated.
3. A call for relief efforts
LOOK: Activists lead UPLB students in gathering and sending a truck-load of #ReliefPH aid to three areas in Batangas
📸 Serve The People Brigade-UPLB pic.twitter.com/LOqaW9YQ3K
— Tonyo Cruz (@tonyocruz) January 16, 2020
Filipinos were quick to take matters into their own hands- this time by using Twitter as a tool to help the Taal evacuees. People set up their own relief operations to help the evacuees and connect people looking for volunteering opportunities. In these instances, Filipinos on Twitter used the hashtag #ReliefPH.
TO ALL TAAL ANIMAL RESCUERS, we have a 6000 sqm lot located at Baras, Rizal which can be used as shelter to any kind of animals. From big horses to small puppies. Message me! The Happy Alpha Project #THAP #ProjectStray #HelpTaal
— Paty Tabas (@kalaPatyyyy) January 15, 2020
On Twitter, nobody gets left behind. Filipinos did not forget to rescue the animals that lived within the area and also initiated relief drives for them.
4. A keen eye on misinformation
To those people who are sending misinformation about the eruption of Taal volcano and Mall of Asia issue, STOP spreading misinformation and lies. These will not help. It will add more confusions and fear. Verify your collected information first by doing basic research.
— Mayamang Jepoy 🥬🌹 (@MayamangJeff) January 13, 2020
Filipinos were very careful about what information they shared. Hence, they opted to retweet information from credible sources like trusted media, government agencies or NGO/relief organizations and encouraged others to verify the news first before sharing.
Twitter is where breaking news and announcements from government agencies, relief organizations, and media are shared. From volunteers to citizens, Twitter helps every person in the Philippines see what’s happening in real-time when they need it the most. Check out#TaalEruption2020 to always be updated on the latest news about the eruption or #ReliefPH if you want to lend a helping hand and volunteer to help the Taal evacuees.