People come to Twitter to learn about news and events unfolding in real time. Whether it’s breaking news, a traffic tailback in the city, or the latest score in a football match, Twitter is the go-to place to find out #WhatsHappening real time. In support of this mission to provide real-time information, Twitter launched a dedicated search prompt to help people stay updated with the latest information from authoritative sources around disaster relief and preparedness efforts in the Philippines.
The country is subject to the annual and seasonal influences of monsoons and tropical storms. Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruption, and more are highly prevalent in the Philippines. In an expansion of Twitter’s Search Prompt— which was specifically put in place for the public to find clear, credible information focusing on disaster preparedness and emergencies—Twitter has partnered with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council or NDRRMC (@NDRRMC_OpCen), the Philippine Red Cross (@philredcross), as well as other government agencies, NGOs and media to expand its efforts towards handling disaster situations.
The search prompt will amplify critical information and promote relief efforts either during or after disasters or emergencies by referring users to credible and reputable government agencies, NGOs, and media providing updated information crisis response and disaster emergency. It is available on iOS, Android, and on mobile.twitter.com in the Philippines, in both Tagalog and English languages.
Every time someone searches for certain keywords associated with disaster relief, a prompt will direct them to the relevant information and sources of help available on Twitter. The feature will be reviewed at regular intervals by the Twitter team to ensure that all related keywords generate the proactive search prompt. Some of the search keyword examples are SagipKalamidad, baha, kalamidad, disaster, floods, earthquake etc. The search prompt will also point to a Twitter list of government agencies, NGOs, and media working towards disaster response and relief in the Philippines, as well as media sources reporting the latest news on natural crises in the Philippines. People looking for support can Follow the List and easily identify and establish contact with credible authorities.
Sharing her thoughts on this initiative, Monrawee Ampolpittayanant, head of public policy and philanthropy, Thailand and the Philippines, Twitter said, “At its core, Twitter is a real-time and modern version of a town square. These characteristics make Twitter a uniquely useful place for timely communication, and more so when a disaster strike. Relief teams have time and again turned to Twitter to connect with people on-the-ground, to share real-time information on the provision of aid, rescue operations and emergency resources. With the launch of this initiative, we are furthering our commitment to partner with citizens, civil society as well the governments responsible for providing emergency support. The dedicated search prompt will ensure there is uninterrupted access to relevant and authoritative information, such as important updates on critical transit and utility outages and establish direct access between the affected areas and rescue teams.”
During times of crisis and emergencies, Twitter’s live, open and public nature continue to be leveraged by NGOs, citizens, government agencies and the media to share and exchange information.