Twitter And Whatapp Help Build Human Infrastructures Of Social Support

Venkata Ratnadeep Suri (Faculty, IIIT-Delhi) recently participated in a program broadcast on BBC Radio 4, conducted as part of the series ‘The Digital Human’. The program hosted by Aleks Krotoski talks about ordinary people who’ve stepped up to save lives during India's second wave of COVID-19.

In his appearance on BBC Radio 4, Venkata Ratan discussed how technology-enabled people form local ‘microcosmic systems’ to allow those most in need to get the oxygen supply or other vital resources at the time of the Covid-19 crisis. The most beautiful part of this process is that it shows how ordinary members of the society, despite being total strangers, came together to help each other. This is emblematic of humanity.  

During this time of commotion and chaos, many good people leveraged social media platforms to lend a helping hand to those who were in need. From sharing leads about hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen cylinders to financially supporting the people who did not have the means to get themselves treated, good citizens from all over the country contributed to the battle against Covid-19 in one way or another.

“While all social media platforms have been used extensively to share information regarding Covid-19, I believe that WhatsApp and Twitter deserve extra credits for helping people during the pandemic. While Twitter served as a national and international platform where people from all regions could share vital information, WhatsApp was leveraged to create local communities, which then interlinked and shared information among themselves.”

-Venkata Ratnadeep Suri, Faculty, IIIT-Delhi

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