Home > BLOG 4, Crisis Communication > Twitter and Facebook for Disaster Communication

Twitter and Facebook for Disaster Communication

During disaster, many different channels of communication can be used, and a new one that is particulary effective are both facebook and twitter.

Facebook is a social networking site that has over 800 million users.

Twitter is similarly an online social networking site and microblogging service. It lets users both send and read post of up to 140 characters. Both these sights are extremely popular and reach over millions of people.

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Because these social sites reach so many people, it is no surprise that they are being explored for purposes of disaster communication.

Projects like this have already taken place with similar frameworks of both twitter and facebook. For example Google.org has started a nonprofit organization in 2008 that’s focus was to help coordinate rescue responces and ultimately save lives. Foremer adversier to the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense Eric Rasmussan stated,

We’re talking about using ubiquitous, free software that is repurposed when necessary to fit into a humanitarian need.

There ultimate goal is to give Twitter and Facebook a higher purpose.

A specific situation in which Twitter has been used for disaster communication was the current earthquake in Japan. In response to this tweets spread rapidly both from Japan, and in communication back from Japan. You can visually see here a video of the the worldwide communication.

I believe that facebook and twitter are great uses for crisis communication. Because they are channels of media that people are already on, they do not have to go out their way to find information. Why not already use a proximity standard that leaves people in their normal pattern of life.

  1. November 3, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    You need more on how social media can actually be used in a disaster response. You mention that social media is good for disasters, but why, and how is it used? Your links are good, but don’t just rely on the links to farm out your explanation or answer to the question.

    Also, under your twitter image you have a bunch of html text. This is distracting, so be sure to check your posts and make sure they don’t have these sorts of errors.

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