Social media helps out as Hurricane Sandy approaches

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, took down their paywalls to enable people to get storm updates for free. “Run riot! Read everything!”, one Twitter user joked, although the Wall Street Journal still had its paywall up for other stories not related to the storm. One netizen on Twitter posted a link to the website of animal welfare group ASPCA, which told concerned pet owners how to prepare their animals for the upcoming storm. Smartphone users were also able to download applications to help them keep informed about the storm. The American Red Cross, for instance, provided an app giving the latest storm information, a check-list of things to have stored in the house, and even a quiz on hurricanes to while away the hours. On Facebook, meanwhile, a community page set up for the hurricane, which includes graphics illustrating Sandy’s wind speed or “threat index”, had already garnered thousands of ‘likes.’

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