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Japan: Govt Advises Local Authorities on Using Social Media in Disasters
Source: http://the-japan-news.com
Source Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Japan
Created: Mar 24, 2017

The government has compiled a guidebook for local governments to effectively use social networking services for information gathering at the time of natural disasters.

With an aim to prevent the spread of false information, the guidebook encourages local governments to establish a “civic support system” whereby residents register in advance to prove their identity before disseminating information.

Because of the chaos in the early phase of a large-scale disaster, prefectural governments and municipalities often struggle to obtain information. The guidebook therefore deems social networking services a “valuable information source.”

At the time of the Kumamoto Earthquake in April last year, false information that “a lion escaped from a zoo” spread via Twitter. The selection of trustworthy information has been identified as a challenge in information gathering.

In January 2016, the Konan city government in Shiga Prefecture introduced the civic support system. About 20 residents, including heads of neighborhood community associations and experts, registered with it, then a drill was conducted to disseminate information. This and other precedents are introduced as examples in the guidebook.
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