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Investigation into social media use during 2011 natural disasters in Queensland

15 December, 2011
By Allison Orr

Eidos Institute, the Department of Community Safety and Queensland University of Technology have formed a partnership to analyse how social media was used during the recent natural disasters in Queensland.

The three-year research project will seek to develop improved public communication strategies that could be implemented in future natural disasters and potentially save lives.  Uses of social media such as Twitter as a critical communications channel by emergency services will be evaluated.

The project leader, Associate Professor Axel Bruns says “the experience of the floods showed clearly that social media have an important role to play in helping to disseminate emergency advice and information, and in sourcing first-hand reports from affected locals. The challenge for emergency services now is to find appropriate communication strategies which include social media in the overall mix.”

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