User Generated Healing on Twitter

In computer science and even manufacturing, there is a move to develop systems that heal themselves. The idea is that materials, fabrication, processes, and computer programs can be used to “repair” physical devices without the use of human intervention.

When the popular micro-blogging site Twitter.com was under siege by a widely-spread phishing attack, a massive people-powered healing system kicked in. By my estimates, thousands of people banded together to plug up the holes and stem the damage.

This warmed my heart.

At one point, nearly 50% of my Twitter stream was related to the phishing occurrences. People were communicating at a rapid pace, describing the fake phishing messages as warnings, while others were re-posting information (known as “retweeting”). I posted information on how phishing works, answered questions, and encouraged people to change their passwords.

Users of the site could have turned away and waited for the site admins to “fix things” but people chose to stay and help others. They did so because they believe in the community and they believe in the mission of the site and its potential.

Would your fans do this for your organization, business, or community?

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