Qld turned to FB during floods: survey

Australia

Nine in ten people used Facebook to access information during north Queensland’s floods, a survey shows.

The preliminary results of the survey, released by the Centre for Disaster Studies at James Cook University on Friday, found 89 per cent of people used the social media site as their primary source for emergency information.

It was more popular than radio, television and official websites including that of the Bureau of Meteorology.

“What seems to be the trend now in our information-rich era is that we have a huge variety of sources to go to during an emergency, so a lot of people tend to go to Facebook as the information is all in one place,” researcher Yetta Gurtner told AAP.

While survey participants found inaccurate information relating to the floods on the site, many were able to self-moderate, Dr Gurtner added.

“People were concerned about rumours getting out but we have a very intelligent community and they were able to moderate each other if they saw inaccurate information being shared,” she said.

The survey also found that while 77 per cent of the 500 respondents received some sort of notification to evacuate, half didn’t leave.

“There is a variety of reasons for that, but people have told us they had nowhere to go except an evacuation centre and no way to get there by the time the evacuation notices went out,” Dr Gurtner said.

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