Over 50,000 followers of the Auschwitz Memorial account on Twitter
Over 50 thousand people follow the official Twitter account of the Auschwitz Museum. Thanks to the nature of this social networking medium, information on the history of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz and activities of the Memorial reach millions of people around the world.
The first tweet from the account twitter.com/auschwitzmuseum was posted on 20 May 2012. 'At first, we wondered if the constraint of limiting posts to 140 characters would not make it difficult for us to talk about the complicated history of Auschwitz. It turns out, however, that it is not only possible but also very effective. Twitter allows us not only to remind followers of anniversaries but also to talk about the most important events at the Museum. The website provides an excellent opportunity to interact with users, said Paweł Sawicki, who manages the Museum’s account on Twitter.
Followers of the Museum’s Twitter account include teachers and educators, workers of institutions that collaborate with the Museum, as well as public figures: journalists, politicians and culture personages, among others. 'It is very important for us as they often re-tweet information we publish. That way, we can reach several people around the world. Take, for instance, the tweet about the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 2017, which was seen by more than half a million people, and one of the recent tweets reminding of the universal significance of Auschwitz which had over 3 million impressions. In certain months, we record over 10 million impressions,' said Sawicki.
One of the hardest lessons for us today. Perpetrators were people. They accepted an ideology that rationalized and promoted hatred & evil. https://t.co/wqJMUxMOvH— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) August 16, 2017
'Twitter is also one of our major communication channels with the media. Owing to our presence on the website we can help journalists in their work, and also forward interesting articles or films on the history of Auschwitz prepared by them. We also use twitter to correct factual errors, and also respond for instance to the use of the expression “Polish concentration camps”. Thanks to the power of the social networking media, we usually manage to quickly obtain corrections,' Sawicki stressed.
Persons following the Auschwitz Museum on Twitter also receive a wealth of information related to events on the history of Auschwitz, World War II or the Holocaust, as many similar institutions also have accounts on the website. 'Consequently, we can re-tweet information about interesting exhibitions or conferences and also supplement information published by other tweets with materials from our Collections or Archives. The possibility of building such a network is extremely important and valuable to us,' Sawicki said.
'What is very important for us, however, is the possibility to interact with individuals who, e.g. are preparing for a visit to the Memorial, write about their tour experience, publish photographs, or search for information on history - he added.
Statistics show that the vast majority of those following the Museum’s account are speakers of the English language - 83%. Over 16% speak Spanish, 7% Polish and 4% German and French respectively. Thanks to volunteer translators a lot of the content is published in several languages.
33% of the followers come from the United States, and 15% from Great Britain. Subsequent places go to Poland (8%), Spain (7%), Germany (5%), Italy, Canada, France (3%), Mexico and Australia (2%).
The Tweeter account is only one of several places on the Internet where the Museum is active. However, the primary medium remains the official website www.auschwitz.org. The website generates enormous on-line interest. In 2016, the website recorded over 42 million page views. It contains, among others, on-line lessons, as well as folders in several languages on the history of the Auschwitz Memorial and activities of the Museum in PDF format. The Museum also has an official account on Facebook and Instagram.