Twitter Commandments

Are you helping during a disaster response in Twitter? Are you sure? Find out here.

  1. Do not panic.
  2. Take a deep breath. You do not need to know it all. Do not be distracted by noise and confusion.
  3. Do No Harm. Remember it is better to have no news than it is to have inaccurate news.
  4. Include date & time stamp for local time in the impacted location of the original posting.(sample: Jan21 1:10 local time #Haiti [address], [emergency description] [contact: name of contact)  If you are retweeting a retweet of a retweet you see how this will help aid workers and first responders who are frustrated by old news and rumors. We recommend tweak-the-tweet (
  5. Verify your source. If you do not know for sure the source is reliable – do not retweet the information. Use two reliable independent sources for major news items such as collapse of a hospital or a new field hospital. If you do not have two reliable sources then include (unconfirmed) or (unverified) in your tweet.
  6. Verify your facts. Get facts, locations, address, specific need, number of people impacted.  Look it up on internet – the address, the news, videos, images, blogs, look it up on YouTube, Facebook, find a map, learn about the location impacted… dig deep into details, the more the better.
  7. Listen to the experts. You are not on the ground in the impacted area.  Use caution and reason and follow those who appear to have a ‘handle’ on how to respond in these situations.
  8. Not sure where to start? Pick one topic and stick with it. Become an expert on fielding, researching facts, news stories and providing help on specific topic.
  9. Repeat the first 3 Twitter Commandments as needed.

Want to learn more and become a volunteer on the Internet to help in times of disaster?  Can you volunteer 2 hours a day?     Be a virtual volunteer with Humanity Road.. Sign up here.

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