The International Committee of the Red Cross Used Twitter’s New Character Limit To Call Attention To Civilians Affected By Conflicts Worldwide

"That's still not enough to talk about all the places where civilians are caught in conflict."

There have been many humorous reactions to Twitter's new 280 character limit, but the International Committee of the Red Cross — an organization that provides humanitarian aid to victims of conflict and violence in over 80 countries — used the increased character count to send an important message about conflict across the globe.

In a tweet posted on November 8, which you can see below, the ICRC named nine countries that are currently being ravaged by deadly conflicts. The nations mentioned include Syria, which is in the midst of an ongoing refugee crisis, Iraq, which continues to battle with ISIS and other rebel forces, and Myanmar, where persecution of Rohingya Muslims has led to an exodus.


As the tweet soberingly reminds us, 280 characters is "still not enough to talk about all the places where civilians are caught in conflict." Almost 2,000 Twitter users have so far retweeted the ICRC.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2016, over 28,000 people a day were forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution.

That's where the ICRC comes in. A quick glance at the rest of the humanitarian organization's Twitter feed reveals some of what they are doing in other parts of the world to aid those who have been negatively impacted by war and conflict. In Syria, for example, the ICRC helps both people inside the war-torn country and those refugees who have been forced to flee it by distributing food and other essentials, restoring water supplies, and supporting medical services.

Over in Iraq, the ICRC works to improve access to clean water and health care, visits detainees and enables them to maintain contact with their families, and supports authorities' efforts to clarify the fate of people missing from earlier conflicts. 

Lastly, ICRC workers on the ground in Myanmar provide basic but vital assistance to people affected by violence, and visits places where people are detained.

Though not everyone is on board with the new 280 character limit, it's refreshing to see an organization like the ICRC use the new development to bring attention to an issue of the utmost importance.

Cover image via Belish / / Nicolas Economou /

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