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An engaged public: Considerations for the use of social media in managing crises

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This article draws upon desk-based research carried out during the Contribution of Social Media in Crisis management (COSMIC) project and examines the opportunities and challenges associated with citizens’ engagement with social media to contribute to crisis management activities. Opportunities include the involvement of citizens in providing assistance during crisis, as well as alternative ways to request assistance. Alternatively, challenges include those associated with the increased involvement of citizens in crisis communication activities: the recording and safety of information, the threat of online vigilantism and the danger to the security of citizens. This article shows that it is necessary to consider the role and behaviour of citizens within crisis management. However, further research is required to continue to understand social dynamics of citizen behaviour operating in the virtual and offline realm and its impact on crisis management and preparedness.
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Keywords: citizens; communication; crisis; disaster; emergency; social media

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Trilateral Research & Consulting

Publication date: 01 July 2015

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UA-1313315-26
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