AU MA Social Media

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Tweeting During Crises

Posted by jorogrady on July 25, 2012

As we discussed in class Monday night, social media use during times of crisis (by FEMA, in Amber Alerts, etc.) is one of the more positive and productive uses of social media.  And it’s one that was used in the recent Aurora theater shooting, by the Red Cross (see below.)

Red Cross Denver (@RedCrossDenver)
7/20/12 8:58 AM
If you are in Denver-metro area & are safe, update your social media to let worried family/friends know you’re OK.

What I found most interesting about this tweet was not that the Red Cross was using social media, but that they were encouraging others to use it as the main way to alert family and friends.  I don’t think my mother has ever said to me, tweet me to let me know you arrived home safely!  But perhaps that’s the next step.  When large-scale crises happen and you need to get a message out to a large group of people quickly, social media is the obvious choice.  In the amount of time it would take to begin to call the first person on your list of concerned friends and family, you could have tweeted your whereabouts and a status message, and your friends could have retweeted it.  When time is of the essence, social media is clearly the way to go.


One Response to “Tweeting During Crises”

  1. nbalkhjav said

    Very interesting! Twitter really became one of the best communicating tool in today’s tech-savvy world. With the 140 characters, people use it in many different ways, whether it is life-threatening circumstances (the hiker who got lost in the middle of nowhere) or emergency contact info such as this Aurora shooting example. It is nice to know that red cross use twitter so effectively in situations like this… I also highly doubt that my mom would look at her twitter though (probably she has no idea what twitter is).

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