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Thomas Spielhofer, Anna Sophie Hahne, Christian Reuter, Marc-André Kaufhold, & Stefka Schmid. (2019). Social Media Use in Emergencies of Citizens in the United Kingdom. In Z. Franco, J. J. González, & J. H. Canós (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response And Management. Valencia, Spain: Iscram.
Abstract: People use social media in various ways including looking for or sharing information during crises or emergencies
(e.g. floods, storms, terrorist attacks). Few studies have focused on European citizens? perceptions, and just one
has deployed a representative sample to examine this. This article presents the results of one of the first
representative studies on this topic conducted in the United Kingdom. The study shows that around a third (34%)
have used social media during an emergency and that such use is more widespread among younger people. In
contrast, the main reasons for not using social media in an emergency include technological concerns and that the
trustworthiness of social media content is doubtful. However, there is a growing trend towards increased use. The
article deduces and explores implications of these findings, including problems potentially arising with more
citizens sharing information on social media during emergencies and expecting a response.
Keywords: Emergencies; social media; Twitter; Facebook; representative study