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Subject: Re: [emergency-cap] SOP for Social Media

Very Timely, Elysa,

I think that two points stand out as needing emphasis from Elliot's SOP document:

  • Social media has largely overtaken mass media as the most focusable way to reach broad audiences especially with messages that reference the most reliable current CAP alerts to push traffic to the authoritative sources for CAP based information and
  • Social media should adopt a policy of informing users that their information is NOT authoritative in order to reduce the amount of misinformation that gets spread during the early stages of emergency situations.

However, social media, such as Google's People Finder, can play a very important role in reducing traffic in official messaging for people wanting to volunteer or search for information about their family and friends.

We should try to encourage the best usage for various kinds of emergerncy related information.


On 9/13/2019 8:31 AM, elysajones@yahoo.com wrote:



In my work for the ITU on National Emergency Telecommunication Plans (NETPs), it is clear many countries use social media (Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram, Twitter, et al) for alert and warning.  The NETP drafts strongly encourage the use of CAP.  It has been brought to our attention that the recently announced “Facebook Local Alerts” and other social media alerts do not use CAP and may actually be in conflict with CAP.  This is certainly true regarding alerts for a specific coverage area, authentication and attention to urgency/severity/certainty.  For that reason, Eliot Christian drafted the attached standard operating procedure be considered for social media alerts.  I agree with this and have included this SOP as a recommendation in the NETPs that I am working on for Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.  I am also suggesting ITU consider adding this terminology to their Global Guidelines for Developing NETPs.  Please review this document and comment on this list with any suggested updates, amendments or comments.   


Regarding Facebook, Eliot has met with their staff and explained the use of CAP worldwide.  The staff was receptive and will consider this going forward.


Additionally, I monitor the public warning list serve for the State of Washington, as they are updating their statewide plan for emergency managers and broadcasters.  They were going to reference Facebook and the new “local alerts” capability.  I provided the attached document to them for consideration.  Eliot and I also asked them to be vocal about their desire to adopt and follow CAP for all alert and warning media.


It may be worthwhile for the CAP-SC to make a strong statement in this regard to all social media platforms.  I would like to propose this for list discussion and perhaps way forward to be prepared for the discussion at the CAP workshop next month.




Elysa Jones, Chair OASIS

Emergency Management Technical Committee

Emergency Member Section Steering Committee


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