This morning we woke up again with the roar of bombs. Several explosions that have occurred at the airport in Brussels at eight o’clock, and later in service metro station Maalbeek. Right now 26 people are dead, dozens injured and a country blockaded with the most high level of terrorist alert.
Since the last November 2015 attacks in Paris, Internet and specifically social networks have become a helpful tool. Thanks to them you can now quickly spread emergency information, help those affected and, of course, contact your family to warn that are good, if the tragedy touch you closely.
One of the services that usually activates whenever a natural disaster (or, as in this case, a terrorist attack) occurs is called Facebook Safety Check. If when you connect to your Facebook profile, either from a computer or via mobile, social network detects you are near where tragedy has occurred,it will show a special window from which you can confirm that you’re okay, and thus reassure family and friends.
Facebook Safety Check has already been activated for residents of Brussels, offering an easy and immediate way to tell their loved ones that are fine. But it is by no means the only way that social networks are playing a key role in this crisis, as did a few months ago in the Paris attacks.
In fact, the Crisis Center of Belgium, through his Twitter profile, encourages people to use the Internet to keep in touch, as telephone networks are saturated , a company of Belgian telephony offers free internet in all connection points in Brussels.
The Red Cross, meanwhile, has also launched an online tool where people can also alert that is fine, and look for your friends and family to make sure they are also safe and sound.
Twitter as the main platform during the crisis
Belgian Crisis Center is just one example of the use being made of internet networks in the chaos caused this morning in Brussels by the explosions. As happened in Paris, Twitter has proven once again to be a great tool to communicate with family and friends, say you’re right and follow the breaking news – especially emergency information, and special releases of the services concerned .
Twitter is also, of course, a source of information on the news itself, often in the hands of the witnesses of the tragedy themselves. Many of us have heard this morning of the explosion because we have read in our timeline, and we have seen photos of the airport with busted windows, videos of people running away from the terminal while sirens could be heard everywhere, or images of smoke coming station subway attack.
Still, all the news about tragedies like this received through social networks should never be taken lightly, and you should always confirm their authenticity before contributing to its spread – especially in regard to the authorship of the facts and especially the victims.