New Report from the Congressional Research Service: Social Media and Disasters

SECRECY NEWS from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2011, Issue No. 86
September 13, 2011

Secrecy News Blog:  http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

The growing use of social media — such as Twitter and Facebook — in responding to emergency situations is examined in a new report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service. “In the last five years social media have played an increasing role in emergencies and disasters,” the report notes. “… They have been used by individuals and communities to warn others of unsafe areas or situations, inform friends and family that someone is safe, and raise funds for disaster relief.” While they have still untapped potential for improving emergency communications, social media can also be used — inadvertently or maliciously — to disseminate false or misleading information, the report observes. See “Social Media and Disasters: Current Uses, Future Options, and Policy Considerations,” September 6, 2011.

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