The Recent Japan Tragedy and the World Wide Web


This March 11, 2011 the Land of the Rising Sun was rocked by a soul-wrecking intensity 8.9 earthquake. The country situated at the core of the Pacific Ring of Fire was then drowned in a 10 meter-high (33 feet) tsunami, leaving gargantuan damage in its wake, the latest of which was a radioactive leak from Fukushima Daiichi. The havoc even extended to Japan’s neighbors — Peru and the State of Hawaii, to name a few.

The rest of the world on the other hand remained vigilant. News of aftershocks and people sightings were readily available, thanks to the online giants named Facebook and Twitter. Information was of mixed sorts — a handful were true and reliable while the rest were false and malicious. Some of them included the deaths of famous Japanese personalities, Satoshi Tajiri (Pokémon artist), Yuko Shimizu (Hello Kitty creator), and Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto mangaka) on top of the list. Wikipedia entries were constantly updated and edited, and people were already posting on what seemed to be terrible news.

Here are a handful of groups of people who have caught my attention last night as I was browsing for true blue news. I have to admit, I was fooled by that information about Yuko Shimizu’s demise, only for it to be verified hoax this morning. Anyway:


  • Über manga/animé fans. The most insensitive bunch I have ever laid my eyes yesterday. Long story short, they just want their favorite mangakas alive because they still want their respective manga/animé to continue. “Without Naruto, we will die.” Yeah and some of them were older than me. Here are a few in Masashi Kishimoto’s Facebook page:

There are still a few who I can commend who just wish their favorite artists are alive, period. Or take for example, this person:

  • Self-confessed Maria Ozawa/Japanese AV droolers. Or those who don’t want to end their perverted lives. Take for example this big hit over the Twitterverse just a few hours after the tragedy:

Here are a few interesting comments which followed. And yes, some of them were Filipinos: (I laughed with the “Ate Glo” part though haha.)

  • Disney die hards. And some imbeciles (yeah, sorry for the harsh word haha). Anyway, just take a look at this. Seems like some of them have plans on White Day, oh well sorry guys. But what you just aired online is just plain selfish. Go drown in the Indian Ocean instead.

(Now, I am not saying we should not pray for Tokyo Disneyland. But I think this tweet has a selfish, childish tone in it. Or maybe I am just too pessimistic.)

And unbelievably, GODZILLA was trending last night:

  • Japan-addicts. They just post everywhere for people to pray and pray for Japan. I think ALL of their posts in Facebook and Twitter are just all about the recent tragedy! While nothing’s really wrong with it, move on already! Yeah we know, we’ll pray. I think the next step is to act. So please, stop flooding our feeds! Even Lord Voldemort is irritated haha:

This time, it’s the Dark Lord who’s more mature. Here’s a TwitLonger from him. Really, made me smile:

(Whew, that was one heck of a Twit-really-Longer!)

  • And lastly, those who just keep on posting false news without first verifying them. Don’t just look twice. Verify first if your update is correct… ten times! Unless it is ten times accurate (and precise, okay just forgive my science knack), just shut up and don’t post. People around the world are suffering already.

The 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami is already part of history. We have to learn from it as much as Japan will learn how to bring herself up again. However she must not be alone. We are all human beings, we are all Earthlings. All we need to show is care.

MORAL: Use the internet wisely. You never know how much lives it can save. 🙂


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