FEMA sets up 'rumor control' site to counter online misinformation
Relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy were affected by misinformation on social networks like Twitter
IDG News Service - The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency has set up a "rumor control" section on its website to counter misinformation on social networks that has affected relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy.
"Fema.gov/sandy now has a RUMOR CONTROL section for misinformation," FEMA said in a Twitter message on Saturday.
The move by FEMA reflects the continuing spread of rumors on social networks in the wake of the hurricane.
"There is a lot of misinformation circulating on social networks. Check here for an on-going list of rumors and their true or false status," the agency said on its website, which on Saturday warned people for example about recent blog posts and social media traffic that claimed that FEMA is out of bottled water.
"This is FALSE. We are providing water to our state partners for distribution," FEMA said. It also informed people that calls and posts from citizens related to the failure of the Old Bridge Township water system in Old Bridge, New Jersey were false.
As Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the U.S., a number of users turned to social networks such as Twitter to alert other people, and also to report on developments. Local and state government officials also recommended a number of accounts and hashtags that users could follow to stay informed of emergency measures, Twitter said in a blog post ahead of the hurricane landing on the east coast.
But some users also spread rumors.
A user who used the Twitter handle @ComfortablySmug said in a message that he apologized to the people of New York for "irresponsible and inaccurate tweets." The user who was identified in some reports as Shashank Tripathi, a campaign manager for Christopher Wight's New York City congressional campaign, said he had resigned from the campaign.
Over the weekend, FEMA continued to use social media including Twitter to get messages across to people about availability of food and transport at various locations, including from organizations like the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army. Other organizations working on the relief have also been using social media extensively in the crisis. "If you see any Red Cross trucks in your neighborhood, please tweet out locations and pic so others will know," The Red Cross in Greater New York for example said in a message on Sunday on Facebook.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- OpenStack and Red Hat: IDC White paper Most OpenStack deployments are by public cloud providers that are early adopters of technology and use OpenStack in a do-it-yourself deployment and support...
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Government Agency Webifies Outdated COBOL Applications Let this CTO tell you how his agency converted 1980s-era green screens into an e-filing portal for the 100,000 cases handled each year...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts