Over the past week, as Florida prepares to hit Hurricane Irma, the free live chat app Zello has jumped 6 million subscribers all at once. In fact, it has become a powerful alternative to government alerting channels, as it delivers up-to-date information faster and more accurately.
The Zello project was launched in 2012 and is a service of public voice communication channels, where you can ask any questions on important topics and get an answer quickly. "Where is the eye of the hurricane now?", "Is it possible to drive to the hospital on Deirdre Street?", "People, do not forget to tell the children the passwords to unlock their smartphones, just in case." The application uses an Internet connection via Wi-Fi and cellular networks and allows you to upload additional information: screenshots, photos, geotags, etc.
Zello developers have established a tough, uncompromising and effective moderation mechanism to filter out hooligans, spammers and alarmists from the air. Before the outbreak of Hurricane Harvey, members of the Cajun Navy channel forcibly transferred all their friends and acquaintances to it. As a result, he remained the only reliable way of communication when the big water came. The same is now observed in Florida - tired of the chaos and useless hustle and bustle, people obey the Zello rules in order to survive.
There are attempts to accuse Zello administrators of occupying communication channels and behaving inhumane, denying people basic privileges. Indeed, being banned for misbehavior, the individual runs the risk of being left without help in difficult times. The commercial part of the project is separated from the public, which receives a million new users every day, and therefore sentiment is not appropriate here. Reality quickly puts everything in its place.