Thursday, September 26, 2013

Twitter Emergency Alerts

Share Light #32 is Twitter Emergency Alerts.

In a feature that went live on September 25, 2013, Twitter has expanded its usefulness during crisis and emergency situations by making it possible for local, national and international government organizations to send out critical messages to users. Organizations like the American Red Cross are also being permitted to enroll in the program.

Twitter users can find out how to sign up at the official Twitter blog. The Twitter users can sign up to receive alerts through push notifications or text messages and they will also be promoted with a unique appearance in the Twitter stream.

Twitter has published guidelines for using the alert feature which organizations will have to follow. The guidelines are designed to make sure that the alerts are reserved for true emergency communications. Examples Twitter gives include natural disasters; severe weather; terrorism; crimes; cyber incident; radiological incidents; and threats to natural resources, such as the food supply.

Twitter is also requiring that participating organizations increase the security on their Twitter accounts to be in the program, so as to prevent hackers and spam gaining entry through users who sign up for the alerts (Twitter Starts Alerts Site for Governments, Law Enforcement, Emergency Services, Washington Post, Sept. 25, 2013).

Share Light raises awareness of sharing you can believe in.