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Hashtags during crisis

June 28, 2013

We are experiencing extreme flooding in parts of British Columbia and Alberta, CANADA.

#ABFLOODS2013, #ABfloods, #YYCfloods, #YYChelps, #YYConwards, #YYCzoo, #YYC, #Siksikastrong, #Blackfootstrong and other hashtags are being used on Twitter, at this time.

These hashtags aim to provide accurate and immediate information and rally encouragement in the communities deeply affected by the floods, as was done in the Queensland, AUSTRALIA floods in 2010-11.

Thousands of Canadian folks have been evacuated. Some folks are returning to homes that are damaged beyond belief. Insurance does not cover over-land flooding. Some folks have no home to return to.

The Siksika Nation, the Blackfoot Nation and other First Nation reserves and communities are suffering immense and major losses.

There have been human fatalities. There have been close calls. There have been miracles of rescue.

There have been animal fatalities at the Calgary ZOO. There have reunions betweeen man and animal. There is hope.

We are trudging the road of recovery and rebuilding our lives and our homes, together. We are moving onwards.

We are CANADIAN, eh! God Bless Canada. God Bless the Queen. God bless the Commonwealth. Amen.


The massive floods that swept through Queensland, Australia in 2010/2011 put an area almost twice the size of the United Kingdom under water. And now, a year later, Queensland braces itself for even worse flooding:

Screen Shot 2013-01-26 at 11.38.38 PM

More than 35,000 tweets with the hashtag #qldfloods were posted during the height of the flooding (January 10-16, 2011). One of the most active Twitter accounts belonged to the Queensland Police Service Media Unit: @QPSMedia. Tweets from (and to) the Unit were “overwhelmingly focussed on providing situational information and advice” (1). Moreover, tweets between @QPSMedia and followers were “topical and to the point, significantly involving directly affected local residents” (2). @QPSMedia also “introduced innovations such as the #Mythbuster series of tweets, which aimed to intervene in the spread of rumor and disinformation” (3).

rockhampton floods 2011

On the evening of January 11, @QPSMedia began to post a series of tweets with #Mythbuster in direct response…

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