Social media’s role in emergencies tested

I'm actually very curious whether the folks behind this study had the tools to study the Social Media reaction to the shooting on Parliament hill a few weeks back. Obviously not as big as e.g. a Buffalo-type snowstorm, but the fast evolution of the situation created a whirlwind of rumors that would have had to have been sifted through.

“The advantages of using social media far outweigh the problems than can occur,” MacKenzie said. “It has to be used right (and) it has to be understood by emergency managers.”

Philip Dawe of Defence Research and Development Canada said about 19 million Canadians are on Facebook and people in this country are the world’s fifth-largest Twitter users.

“What we’re seeing develop is, in emergencies, social media is playing a bigger and bigger role,” Dawe told reporters.