FP7 topic

Topic SEC-2013.6.1-1 The impact of social media in emergencies – Capability Project

The impact of social media in emergencies and their impact on public feelings of security and insecurity are poorly understood. Research is needed on various facets of the growing importance of social media in situations of societal emergencies or when facing threats to citizen security as in civil protection situations.

Social media play a crucial role in any event locally, nationally and internationally. There is little systematic research based knowledge about what role they play in emergency situations. Social media are also vehicles for story telling and rumour spreading of vast proportions in disasters with many uncertainties and complex interactions. Research is therefore needed on the consequences of the new pattern that social media may very quickly provide information (reliable or unreliable) on fast moving developments.

Research may focus on the following issues:

  • How and when do social media contribute to the general understanding of what has happened, the reasons why it has happened?
  • How do people react, what might be the consequences, what reactions are/should be chosen by the authorities?
  • Under what circumstances do the social media play a social responsible role or an irresponsible role that aggravates the critical situation?
  • What is the difference between the different types of social media?

Social media becomes a complicating influence in crises unless new tools and methods are developed to meet this challenge. New tools which can be applied in different scenarios are also needed to reduce potential information overload among incident commanders. Involvement of social network providers is encouraged. Proposers for this topic should also look for an enhanced SME participation as described in Part 1 of the work programme.

The complete call can be found on  work programme 2013 – security.