Flooding Facebook - the use of social media during the Queensland and Victorian floods

Deanne Bird*, Megan Ling, Katharine Haynes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Community-initiated Facebook groups emerged during the 2010/11 Queensland and Victorian floods, gaining a near instant following from local residents within, and family and friends beyond, the impacted areas. Administrators of the groups sourced their data from agencies such as the Bureau of Meteorology, State Emergency Service, Queensland and Victorian Police Departments, local councils and news media. Even more importantly, administrators published near-real time information from the general public: Facebook members posted information and questions; local residents asked for and received help and advice; and, travellers driving through the area posted and received up-to-date information on road closures and flooding. During the floods in Queensland and Victoria, Risk Frontiers used Facebook to distribute a survey to members of community groups such as CQ Flood Update-version 2 and Victorian Floods. The results indicate that most respondents began using the community groups on the floods to get information about their community and almost all found the medium useful and an effective means of communicating with family or friends. In this paper, we discuss the results of this survey and consider the value of social media to the emergency services, not only as a tool to disseminate information but also as an important resource to tap into and review informal communications, something that was previously inaccessible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Emergency Management
Volume27
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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