We have all read some of the more recent articles about the use of social media in mass notification systems. While we are in no way downplaying the need to use social media along with every other source within your powers, we would in-turn like to make you aware of the underlying concerns that can arise.
Social media, when used correctly and as intended, is a highly effective means of spreading your word and in this case your emergency message, although not in a reliable time frame. Unfortunately, for as much as your good intentions are applied, there are many other people out there that like to cause ill-intentions as the same time.
In recent emergencies of note, less than honorable Twitter followers have been known to alter the original message to one that provides false and frightening information and re-tweeting it out. As we all know, these feeds travel far and wide in a very short time period. Suddenly there are several conflicting messages being transmitted around social media circles, which will cause you, the public safety official an enormous amount of heartache and additional work to combat. I suppose this same thing could also happen with any other social media product as well.
While there is more good than bad with using social media, it bears the mention that we should all be aware of the consequences that could arise and do our best to monitor those social media services following use of your mass notification system. We here at ECN encourage the use of every form of public dissemination to spread the life-saving emergency alert and notification message as much as possible. Again, we are in no way discouraging the use of social media, we simply felt the need to bring awareness to this growing public safety concern.