Home > BLOG 4, Crisis Communication > Blog #4: Social Media and Diasters

Blog #4: Social Media and Diasters

In the past ten years or so, social media has become more and more popular in our society, and especially in the the past five years. The way people are receiving their breaking news, daily news, and general information is changing. With the decline of paper newspapers, comes the increase in online newspapers, and almost all the major news outlets, as well as local news stations have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

Our society today is all about instant gratification and getting things at the tips of their fingertips, and social media allows for this. Twitter, for example, allows organizations to post a quick “tweet” that consists of 140 characters, which could include a link to a site with the actual news article. Twitter is a great way to get out information quick and fast. Once a tweet has been sent, it is received by everyone who “follows” this organization on Twitter, which could be millions of people. Twitter is a quick and easy way to get information out to mass audiences.

Facebook as well has the power of reaching millions and millions of people. Unlike Twitter, Facebook has no limits on the amount of characters or links in a post, allowing organizations to give as much information as they would like to the public. Facebook can be a great tool to give detailed information, advice, and recommendations, as well as providing links to other sites. By joining a group an organization made, or “liking” and organization’s page, you can recieve many updates concerning that organization. Facebook proves to be a great tool to get out lots of information out to lots of people very quickly.

In a day in age where people are always connected to the internet, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are very valuable tools. In any sort of crisis, people can easily log on to either of these sites and find out all the information they need via phone or laptop.

However, caution does need to be taken in using social media in crises. Since this information is getting read by millions and millions of people, the information must be verified and correct. It could cause even more problems if the information received was incorrect. As well as being correct, information about a crisis must also be available very quickly post-crisis, as people will be logging on to all kinds of news sites and social media sites to get any information they can. Social media can be a great way to get information out to people because it can easily and quickly get information out to millions of people, but it needs to be done correctly, because the wrong information could do more harm.

  1. November 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    So if social media can be so easily used to disseminate false information during a crisis, and the information can be so harmful, do you think the sum impact of social media during a crisis is good or bad?

    How can false information on social media be dealt with during a crisis.

    One more thing, you have a lot of good information on social media in this post, but you don’t get to the issue of crisis until the end. Would have liked more discussion of social and crisis as opposed to social media in general.

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