The Great East Japan Earthquake was Japan’s first major natural disaster since the rise of social media, and emergency planning outfits have been studying the data from March 11, 2011, in order better use SNS to save lives and help survivors. Online activities related to the current seismic activity in Kyushu have provided more information.
The advantage social media has over traditional media is immediacy. In the case of the 2011 disaster, notifications about the coming tsunami might have saved more lives if they had specifically told people to seek higher ground immediately. As it happened, many people who fled the waves tried to do so in vehicles that got caught in traffic and were swept away.