Twitter launches search prompt in India

Twitter prompt

Twitter India rolls out a dedicated search prompt to help people stay updated with the latest information from authoritative sources around disaster relief and preparedness efforts.

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.

This is an expansion of Twitter’s #ThereIsHelp 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 Response Force (@NDRFHQ) in India to expand its efforts towards handling disaster situations. The search prompt will be available on iOS, Android, and on in India, in both English and Hindi languages.

Shri SN Pradhan (@satyaprad1), Director General, National Disaster Response Force, said “While disasters both natural and manmade can undoubtedly cause widespread humanitarian havoc, open internet, and social media can immensely benefit the ecosystem by enabling people to connect with each other and with government agencies. Twitter’s ability for facilitating real-time dialogue has ensured that crucial information about disaster-affected areas flows seamlessly”.

He adds, “Timely and reliable updates through Twitter can support the government in communicating to the people on rescue/relief services available to them and what they can do to receive it. Through the launch of this search prompt and our collaboration with Twitter, we are optimistic about bringing authentic and credible information to the fore to promote open public communication, in times when it is needed the most. This partnership will also strengthen NDRFs credo of आपदा सेवा सदैव सर्वदा – Disaster rescue related services everywhere in India & at all times”.

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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 keywords include:

● English: #cyclone#DisasterRelief#earthquake#flood#floods#heavyrainfall#hurricane#Landslides#NDMA#NDRF#rain#rainfall#SDRF#storm#thunderstorm#tsunami,

● Hindi: #आंधी#आंधीतूफान#आपदा#एनडीआरएफ#चक्रवात#तूफान#बाढ़#बारिश#भूकंप#भूचाल#भूस्खलन#राज्यआपदाप्रतिक्रियाबल#सुनामी#राष्ट्रीयआपदाप्रतिक्रियाबल#राष्ट्रीयआपदाप्रबंधनएजेंसी

The search prompt will also generate a list of government agencies working towards Disaster Response and Relief in India, so people looking for support can easily identify and establish contact with credible authorities.

Sharing her thoughts on this initiative, Mahima Kaul (@misskaul), Director, Public Policy, India, and South Asia, 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 strikes. Relief teams have time and again turned to Twitter to connect with the people on the ground, and share real-time information on the provision of aid, rescue operations, and emergency resources”.

She adds, “With the launch of this initiative, we are furthering our commitment to partner the citizens, civil society as well the government. 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, efforts to oversee crowd management, and establish direct access between the affected areas and the 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. In India, the usefulness of Twitter during disaster relief has come to light by its use during the Kerala Floods by @CMOKerala and last year during Mumbai Floods by @mybmc and most recently by @CMOfficeAssam as well as the citizen groups that organized themselves entirely on Twitter to help those affected on the ground.