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Angus Veitch / flickr
CCI researchers Assoc. Prof. Axel Bruns and Dr. Jean Burgess from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Assoc. Prof. Kate Crawford and Frances Shaw from the University of New South Wales focussed especially on the role of Twitter, which was prominently used by the Queensland Police Service during the crisis.
"Through their @QPSMedia Twitter account, police staff provided timely updates directly from the Queensland Premier's situation meetings," said Professor Bruns. "Many mainstream media picked up on these updates and included them in their own news tickers." Dr Burgess added that social media did much more than just improve communication between police and media organisations. "During the week of 10 January 2011, some 15,000 users participated in the #qldfloods hashtag on Twitter, sharing news, advice, photos and videos of the inundation," she said.