08/05/2013 01:12 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

16 Ways the Internet Has Proved It Has a Heart

For most of us, the internet is a useful resource and a fun diversion: a place to read the news, learn about things, watch movies, or just hang out with friends. But in recent years, the web has emerged as a remarkable philanthropic resource. Everyday people have gotten organized online through crowd-based fundraising sites, rallying around important causes and doing what they can to offer comfort in times of tragedy. When disaster strikes, net users have risen to the occasion, gathering together and proving they can be a force for good.

In April of 2013, the finish line of the Boston Marathon was attacked by terrorists, who had planted homemade bombs among the crowds. There were three fatalities, and a further 264 were injured in the blasts, many of them being seriously wounded and losing limbs. Boston was in a state of fear as authorities worked to find the culprits. Meanwhile, the internet worked to bring healing to a terrorized city: $3.2 million was donated through within two months of the attack. To show their appreciation for the Boston Police Department, thousands of users on the social media site paid out of their own pockets to deliver pizzas to the brave officers.

On May 20, 2013, a massive tornado struck the city of Moore, Oklahoma. Winds of over 200 mph tore the town apart, destroying more than 1,0o0 homes and causing $2 billion in damage. 23 people were killed, and 377 more were injured. It was the deadliest tornado to strike the US in two years. In the midst of this catastrophe, the internet reached out to offer a helping hand. In less than a month, web users from around the world donated $1.8 million to the tornado disaster relief effort through, and a further $590,000 was contributed by eBay shoppers and sellers as part of the eBay Giving Works program. Thanks in part to their generosity, the town of Moore is being rebuilt today.

Every day, people around the globe are showing that the internet doesn't have to be an anonymous place where everyone keeps to themselves. Instead, the web has worked to bring people together, channeling their collective goodwill in times of crisis, and making a serious difference in the world. In this infographic by eBay Deals, you'll see 16 ways the internet has proved it has a heart.

the internet has a heart