2019 | 27 | 5 | 32-43
Article title

The role of social media in emergency management during the 2019 flood in Poland

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Objectives The aim of this article is to discuss the role of social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, during the floods that took place in Poland in May 2019. The following research questions guided the study: (1) How is social media used by different actors at various stages of the disaster management cycle? (2) To what extent were social networking sites used during the 2019 floods in Poland? Methods The study employed social media analytic tools to analyze social media data published on Facebook and Twitter qualitatively and quantitatively in the period from 1 March to 10 June 2019. Results Social Media is used during emergencies by various actors for different purposes: emergency services use it to broadcast weather alerts and situational updates; authorities communicate weather alerts and offer assistance; mass media outlets share up-to-date information; individual users connect and share their experiences of the disaster as well as express political views; organizations spread general comments, situational updates and political comments. Conclusions Despite several drawbacks, such as the chaotic spread of messages, their unreliability and the politicization of the news- feed, social networking sites support disaster management. Therefore, they should be incorporated as an additional communication channel during emergencies.
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