THE EARTHQUAKES IN NEPAL, LIKE WITH SO MANY natural disasters, are devastating and frustrating to watch on social media: devastating in the sheer scale of the catastrophe, and frustrating in the sense that it is hard to know how one can effectively help. This has been a problem with all disasters during the social media age: it’s super easy to give money, but it’s really hard to know which agencies and non-profits will actually be able to help, and which agencies are either inefficient or worse, corrupt.
One of the ways people are helping to combat this problem on social media is through the Nepal Photo Project, which is using Facebook and Instagram to help give the public reliable information on the ongoing disaster in Nepal, while simultaneously pointing them in the direction of places where they can help.
Another extremely important function of the Nepal Photo Project is that it’s helping to keep the catastrophe in the public’s eye in the weeks after the quake initially happened. It’s an important function, especially in a world where attention from the media really only lasts if there is a Presidential election or a missing plane.
The project is totally crowdsourced, which makes it particularly effective in terms of getting images from all over the affected regions of Nepal. Contributors can e-mail their photos along with informative captions to the page, and they are then posted for the public.
One of the additional benefits of Nepal Photo Project is that it offers a platform for many Nepalese to tell their stories surrounding the quake, which has as of this writing killed upwards of 8,000 people.
The Nepal Photo Project is a particularly good example of how we can use social media to help people in times of crisis. Check them out and give them a follow.