Interactions: Studies in Communication and Culture' (Volume 6, Issue 2, July 2015)

Final guidelines for the use of new media in crisis situations

Final report on recommendations for future research

Social media is a phenomenal tool for disseminating information quickly and has become an integral part of everyday life around the world. It provides a medium for open, interactive dialogue in peer-to-peer (P2P) networks that are collaborative, decentralised and community-driven.

These dynamic social networks can be positively exploited and utilized in the event of a crisis or emergency. The COSMIC (Contribution of Social Media in Crisis management) project aims to assist first responders in using new ICT and digital tools and applications.

COSMIC will deliver a set of instructions, recommendations and best practices related to the exploitation of social media in emergency situations. This will be done by addressing and analysing the roles of major stakeholders associated with crisis management and by reviewing their communication needs, infrastructure bottlenecks and security priorities during disasters.

With the development of internet applications and data connections, the concept of social media came into being and expanded enormously in a relatively short time. This increase in social media applications (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogger etc.) changed the use of the internet; until quite recently, people used the internet merely to look up information, now it is just as easy to share your own information as well. Especially since the moment access to the internet no longer required the use of a personal computer or a laptop, but became possible with the tablets and mobile telephones, the impact of social media on our everyday lives has been tremendous.