While only 7% of US adults are posting UGC, it has made a difference. This comes mainly in the form of tragedy. When natural disasters or terrorist violence happen, citizens are the ones on the ground first watching it unfold. Until professionals can get to these often times difficult to get to places, the only way of knowing what is happening is through UGC. A Pew Research Center study found that In the first 24 hours following a deadly tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, citizens posted a majority of the most viewed videos of the tragedy. [Wiki References 1] A Huffington Post article provides some more evidence of UGC's impact in the wake of natural disasters and terrorism:
- During Hurricane Sandy, 800,000 pictures were posted on Instagram with "#Sandy"
- Following the Boston Marathon Bombing, UGC images were the ones being provided to identify the bombers
- The first image that was released from that deadly Oklahoma tornado was a UGC image [Wiki References 2]
One of the largest events covered with UGC were the Arab uprisings. Citizens who were in the middle of the protests and chaos were able to capture images on their smartphones to share with the world on social media. [Wiki References 3]