Social Media Expert, Meg Coffey has shared her thoughts on how social media has brought the global community together in the wake of the bushfires.
Question: How has social media brought the global community together in the wake of the bushfires?
Meg Coffey: Social media has taken the message farther and faster than traditional media ever could. The mediums work hand in hand to support pushing the message, but more people these days are connected online than they are to traditional media.
Question: How much of a difference has social media made?
Meg Coffey: It has made a huge difference – but there is the danger of the fake news that has spread as well. It's important when sharing the message that we are sharing the right message from the accurate sources. While there is the good that comes – the ability to reach people in ways never before and to connect various fundraising schemes with as many people as possible – we also know that social media can be used in harmful ways such as the dissemination of fake news. There has also been a lot of trolling around the discussion of climate change.
Question: Celeste Barber, and other international celebrities have raised so much money so quickly. Why do you think this is and why has it been so successful?
Meg Coffey: Celeste Barber strikes a chord with people that politicians don't. I think it was the perfect storm of looking at the government's actions and feeling useless at their lack of action, and someone like Celeste Barber who has made a living out of humanizing everything, standing up and saying: 'hey, this sucks and we need to do something about it'. She struck a chord with people all over the world and showed that even the smallest donation can be helpful.
Question: How has social media become a trustworthy platform for people to donate?
Meg Coffey: Before this, I would say that some people would have been sceptical but Celeste and other fundraising efforts will show (provided the donation goes as planned) that this is a great way of fundraising. Facebook knows they have a reputation problem and this would be a great case study on how the platform can be trusted.
We urge you to check reputable charities when donating like