Social networking helps global campaigns

Social networking sites have played an important role in raising funds and awareness for disasters. (PATRICK CASTILLO)

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has utilised Facebook to conduct a new public opinion poll as part of the findings of its report titled "Faith and the Global Agenda: Values for the Post-Crisis Economy", an annual report on issues related to the role of faith in global affairs.

The poll reached more than 130,000 respondents in France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and the United States.

This comes in line with the WEF underlining the importance of information and communications technology, as a means to as a catalyst for positive social, economic and environmental change.

In its study "Scaling Opportunity: Information and Communications Technology for Social Inclusion", an analysis of how ICT is evolving to address the social and economic needs of the poor.

"The widespread adoption of networked communications technologies has created humanity's most pervasive global platform," said William H Dutton, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, United Kingdom, and member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Future of Mobile Communications. "We are at a unique moment in time to leverage this platform to improve lives globally."

Facebook has also shown an efficient means to highlight major humanitarian causes, and raising relief funds, as in the case of the Haiti earthquake disaster during the past week.

The social network that currently has more than 350 million active users has developed a page titled "Global Disaster Relief". The page helps searching for missing people in Haiti and receiving information about people in Haiti, in addition to promoting the names of the official fund raising campaigns.

Facebook groups calling for minimal donations to raise funds for the relief of the victims of the Haiti earthquake last week, have attracted more than a million members. Twitter has also emerged as an effective social network.

 

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