Central Command Turns To Twitter To Solve The Gulf Oil Spill. Uh Oh.

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As you’re probably well aware, there’s a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico right now. When BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and then sank last month, it began dumping thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf each day. By the time the oil stops leaking, it’s expected to be the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Yeah, it’s bad. It’s so bad, that BP and several other organizations working on the spill are apparently running out of ideas. And they’re turning to Twitter, according to gCaptain.

A group of a dozen or so organizations including BP, the EPA, the U.S. Department of Interior, the Department of Defense, and OSHA have set up Deepwater Horizon Response, a “Unified Command” established to “manage response operations.” Naturally, there’s a website for this effort, but there’s also a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Flickr account, and a YouTube account. They’re covering all the social media bases (though no Foursquare account just yet).

On one hand, this is absolutely great. This site and all of these social accounts are giving users access to a ton of information about the spill, and what’s being done to try and solve it. On the other hand, it’s a little scary to see tweets like this: “Submit alternative tech ideas to stop leaking...” Yes, they apparently must now resort to crowd-sourcing ideas over Twitter for how to stop the spill. Ugh.

Let’s hope they’re just tweeting stuff like that to let people know they’re doing all they can, and are willing to explore all ideas. Let’s hope it’s not that they’re completely out of ideas and need Twitter to solve the problem for them. (But tweets like this and this aren’t looking too promising.) Especially since that account only has around 4,000 followers, and that tweet was only retweeted 3 times. Maybe they should enlist Ashton Kutcher, and his nearly 5 million followers to help out if they really want to crowd-source this thing.

If you do have an idea for how to solve the spill, submit it using this form. If somehow this crowd-sourcing over Twitter does actually produce a solution, I’ll be all in favor of them winning some sort of Nobel prize at that point.

[photo: flickr/NASA Goddard Photo and Video]

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