Presentation on theme: "Emergency Services and Social Media VGSO client presentation Emergency Services Practice Group 19 November 2010."— Presentation transcript:
Emergency Services and Social Media VGSO client presentation Emergency Services Practice Group 19 November 2010
Speakers Georgette Apostolopoulos Solicitor, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office Sandeep Varma Manager Communities and Media Relations, Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner Isabel Parsons Special Counsel, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office Darren Whitelaw Acting Director, Strategic Communications Branch, Department of Justice Carolyn Doyle Managing Principal Solicitor, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office
Government 2.0 Use of existing social media sites – Facebook/Twitter/YouTube VPS Innovation Action Plan and Government 2.0 Action Plan
Social media in emergencies VGSO Seminar 19 November 2010 Sandeep Varma
Social media scenario: There’s an emergency. Questions What do people expect? What happens in social media? What is going to happen in the future?
Giuliani model for emergency communications What we know What we don’t know What we’re doing What we want you to do
But social media is two-way
Social media version of the Giuliani model Here’s what we know AND how to share it with people you know Here’s what we don’t know. Tell us what you know and help us fill in gaps. Here’s what we’re doing (verified) AND what you’re doing (unverified) Here’s what we want you to do AND how to do it (ex. a map for evacuation)
What do people expect? –Australian stats –Red Cross research
Australians are the most prolific users of social media in the world.
Neilsen 2010 Social Media Report for Australia 9 million Australians now interact via social networks Content sharing is the most popular activity 4 in 5 Australian Internet users have shared a photo Twitter usage grew by 400% in 2009 Nearly 3/4 of Australians read a wiki 2 in 5 Australians interact with orgs via social networks
People expect us to be in social media.
Red Cross Report (USA) Survey research into social media in disasters One in six (16%) have used social media to get information about an emergency
During an emergency, 50%+ would likely use social media to let people know they were safe
Red Cross Report (USA) Three out of four would expect a response within an hour
More than two-thirds agree that response agencies should regularly monitor and respond to postings on their websites
What are people doing? Summary The community is using social media Whether we are in social media or not, during an emergency the community will be If we don’t provide interactive, real-time information they will find it elsewhere and then wonder loudly, “Why didn’t government provide this information!”
What happens in social media? Recent examples –Victoria: VicFloods –Melbourne: Building fire
VicFloods – September 2010 Source: Herald Sun
VicFloods 500+ tweets recorded Potential reach: 100,000+ Government presence minimal Regional media outlets in focus Key outlets: ABC/774/3AW + regional papers
VicFloods Twitter examples This weekend we will be using the #vicrains hashtag, and #vicfloods if necessary.VictoriaPolice#vicrains #vicfloods Wangaratta and Bairnsdale having 'flood peaks' #vicfloods3AW693BruceEsplin3AWNeilMitchellhttp://bit.ly/9jFYuD#vicfloods 3. In Charleton, water levels dropping, great community spirit- but so much clean up ahead for the community #vicfloods#vicfloods Advice for renters and landlords affected by #vicfloods from Minister for Consumer Affairs: We're rescuing a lot of people stranded in their cars. NEVER drive through flood waters #vicfloodsVictoriaPoliceTaturaSES#vicfloods Find out is assisting with Victorian flood relief - #vicfloodsAusDefenceForce
Melbourne CBD Building Fire Flames and smoke are nearly all gone Collins Place is on fire. MFB say the fire at Collins Place has been controlled, the building has been evacuated. 2:25 PM Oct 21st via TweetDeckabcnews774melbourne2:25 PM Oct 21stTweetDeck
How do we tap into community? Research shows people will offer to help and will engage online Research shows people will use multiple sources to verify information We need to give people an outlet, in preparedness, response and recovery We need to partner with the technology community We need to find the best way to tap into and use community information
US Geo Survey Twitter posts can now be geo- tagged – placed on a map. This is a map of Tweets from 30 minutes after an earthquake in California.
5 hours after earthquake
1 day after earthquake
Verification – the big challenge Community information verification: how do we tell it’s real? Triple Zero: recent report says 50% of calls are crank calls Social media? No Australian research or international best practice verification model yet – but info is much more easily traced on social media, especially with GPS mobile phones
The Future National Broadband Network VicGovt 2.0 Action Plan One laptop per child in VIC schools More and more smartphones & devices Growing government engagement online Research, strategy development & risk management
Isabel Parsons Special Counsel Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office Phone:
Legal aspects of using social media Liability, risk management and compliance
What are some legal issues Information quality and timelines Infringement of third party rights – copyright and defamation Cyber squatting and unauthorised content
Legal framework for social media Terms between service provider and the State Terms of access by user
Information quality and timelines Liability for negligent misstatement Duty to warn Duty to act Correction of inaccurate data
Disclaimers Scope of disclaimer Drawn to attention of user Accepted by user?
Disclaimer can be placed in multiple locations within generic layout of Facebook Adding a disclaimer on Facebook Source: Adapted from
Example: Better Health Channel Disclaimers can be added in the body of the ‘Info’ tab A “Disclaimer” tab can be added with the use of Facebook Apps
Add a disclaimer in the ‘One Line Bio’ section – Limit 160 characters OR: Regularly post the disclaimer Adding a disclaimer on Twitter Source: Adapted from
Example: Commonwealth Ombudsman
Infringement of third party rights - defamation Online content is published where downloaded (Dow Jones v Gutnick 2002)Dow Jones v Gutnick 2002 Range of claims being brought against individuals for online defamation State may be able to rely on s 32 of Defamation Act 2005 (innocent dissemination)s 32 of Defamation Act 2005
Infringement of third party rights - copyright Online use is copyright use –reproduction/publication/communication Does the statutory licence apply? Permission/licence of owner of UGC Infringement – knowledge relevant to damages s 115(3) or other remedies s 116(2)s 115(3) s 116(2)
Authorisation and infringement of copyright Authorisation of infringement – ss 36(1A) and 101(1A)36(1A)101(1A) Practical steps Exemption for online infringement – service providers (ss 39B and 112E - Safe harbour)39B112E
Terms of contract with social media service provider Terms are fixed for existing social media sites Key government requirements and policies Government or supplier terms? –US General Service Administration amendment to terms of service amendment to terms of service
Major issues for contracts with all service providers Scope and duration of content licence Liability of service provider Indemnities by the State Continuity and integrity of service No endorsement
Member terms and conditions To cover participation of third parties (creation and licensing of UGC) Must be drawn to attention of users Acceptable use/code of conduct and rules for modification/take down
Moderation and remediation Depends upon nature of online engagement/controversy Minimum requirements for automated moderation? Risk management approach – warnings, communication including complaints and reporting Legal pitfalls - defamation
Resources AGIMO Web Publishing Guide Project 8 Online Engagement Guideline Government 2.0Project 8 Online Engagement Guideline Government 2.0 Government 2.0 risk register and management planGovernment 2.0 risk register and management plan
Cyber squatting and unauthorised consent Addressing cyber squatting Removal of unauthorised or unlawful content
Record Keeping Government 2.0 Taskforce – records to be kept and guidance developed Should all records be retained? Victoria Electronic Records Strategy (VERS) and PROV Advice or guidelines relating records of outsourced activity
Carolyn Doyle Managing Principal Solicitor Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office Phone:
The challenge Web 2.0 provides public servants with unprecedented opportunities to open up government decision making and implementation to contributions from the community. In a respectful and professional manner, APS employees should engage in robust policy conversations. Equally, as citizens, APS employees should also embrace the opportunity to add to the mix of opinions contributing to sound, sustainable polices and service delivery approaches. - APS Values and Code of Conduct in practice: A guide for APS employees and Agency HeadsAPS Values and Code of Conduct in practice: A guide for APS employees and Agency Heads Photograph by Limbic. Licensed under Creative Commons
Spectrum of on line activities for public servants
The generation gap
Private? Public? – negotiating the boundaries The tribulations of the Sawers
Hair(y) FWA Case Fitzgerald v Smith T/A Escape Hair Design  FWA 7358Fitzgerald v Smith T/A Escape Hair Design
Current framework for Vic public sector Constitution Act – s 95s 95 Public Sector Code of Conduct – 3.4, 3.5 and 3.9Public Sector Code of Conduct PSSC Guidance for use of social media in the VPSPSSC Guidance for use of social media in the VPS Departmental (or agency policies): internet use, use
Constitution Act –s 95(1)(a) - a person employed in any capacity in the service of the State of Victoria shall not …. publicly comment upon the administration of any department of the State of Victorias 95(1)(a) –s 95(2) any person who contravenes s 95 ‘shall on proof thereof to the satisfaction of body or person to which or whom he is subject in matters of discipline (as the case requires) be liable to a fine not exceeding $100 and in addition to such fine may be reduced in class subdivision grade status or salary or dismissed or have his services dispensed with’.s 95(2)
Public Sector Code of Conduct – 3.4 Code of Conduct. Public sector employees only disclose official information or documents acquired in the course of their public employment when required to do so by law, in the legitimate course of duty, when called to give evidence in court, or when proper authority has been given. In such cases comments are confined to factual information only.
Public Sector Code of Conduct – 3.5 Code of Conduct Public sector employees only make public comment when specifically authorised to do so in relation to their duties, a public sector body, or government policies and programs. Such comment is restricted to factual information and avoids expression of personal opinion. Public comment includes providing information or comment to any media (electronic or print), the internet and speaking engagements. When making a comment in a private capacity, public sector employees ensure their comments are not related to any government activity that they are involved in or connected with as a public sector employee and make it clear they are expressing their own view. They ensure that personal comments are not seen or perceived to be an official comment.
Public Sector Code of Conduct – 3.9 Code of Conduct Public sector employees avoid conduct in their private life that may adversely affect their standing as a public official or which may bring their public sector employer into disrepute.
PSSC Guidance High level Use of social media is subject to the Code of Conduct needs to be supported by departmental policy; contains examples in the context of public and private use.
Victoria Police policies Police Regulation Act 1958 Victoria Police Manual –Policy Rules –Procedures and guidelines
Commonwealth APS Values and Code of Conduct Ch 3 and 15 APS employees as citizensAPS Values and Code of Conduct –‘in a professional and respectful manner, APS employees should engage in robust policy conversations’ –‘As citizens, APS employees should embrace the opportunity to add to the mix of opinions…’
Commonwealth Department of Finance –Social media 101: A beginner’s guide for Finance employeesSocial media 101: A beginner’s guide for Finance employees