Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Twitter for crisis communication: Study shows benefits for the police

Date:
April 30, 2013
Source:
Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT)
Summary:
A study shows how the police can use social media in crisis in order to promptly communicate with affected residents. Scientists analyzed 6672 Twitter messages exchanged between the population and the police during the riots in the summer of 2011.

A study, currently presented in Paris at the international conference CHI 2013, shows how the police can use social media in crisis in order to promptly communicate with affected residents. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, the Rotterdam School of Management and the COT Institute in The Hague analyzed 6672 Twitter messages exchanged between the population and the police during the riots in the summer of 2011.

Many remember the riots in London and other British cities in the summer of 2011. Photos of marauding youths, broken shop windows and burning buildings went around the world. Five people died and more than 200 were injured. The damage amounted to more than 200 million pounds. During the crisis, social media became a subject of public debate, as offenders took advantage of these media to organize themselves. Officials even discussed the possibility to shutdown twitter. There was, however, also another form of social media use during the riots: British police forces actively used Twitter to communicate with the public.

The analysis of Twitter communication of police forces in London and Manchester during, before and after the riots shows that authorities can benefit from adopting social media: The police succeeded in both cities to provide information to the population promptly and directly. They fought rumors, corrected false reports and were able to ask the population for help.

"The study also makes different strategies of the police visible and shows how they use social media for crisis communication. The London police authorities communicated slower and in formal language. In Manchester, the police responded directly to citizens' questions and communicated closer to the citizens," says Dr. Sebastian Denef of Fraunhofer FIT. Figures reflect the success. During the riots the number of Twitter followers of the Manchester police skyrocketed from 20,000 to 100,000.

Despite the positive outcomes, this type of communication via social media is not without challenges. Although the fast, direct communication has potential for intensive communication, it also poses the risk of choosing the wrong tone and publishing information hastily.

According to the researchers who interviewed police forces in ten European countries, British police forces lead in social media adaptation in international comparison, only surpassed by the Dutch. Police forces and authorities in other countries -- including the German police authorities -- currently decide how and to what extent they will use social media in the future. For this, the experience of British police forces during the 2011 riots provides important examples to learn from.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT). "Twitter for crisis communication: Study shows benefits for the police." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130430092328.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT). (2013, April 30). Twitter for crisis communication: Study shows benefits for the police. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130430092328.htm
Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT). "Twitter for crisis communication: Study shows benefits for the police." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130430092328.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday warned about the potential "catastrophe" if global warming was not dealt with in a "powerful" way. Duration: 01:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins