The use of social media for the management of large events: a Medi@4sec workshop in Setúbal, Portugal

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Setúbal, Portugal, July 2018 Efus and the Medi@4sec project on the use of social media for public security organised on 6 July in Setúbal (PT) a dissemination event on the theme “Riots and large events,” which was attended by 25 delegates representing the host city and other Portuguese municipalities, including Alcacer do Sal, Cascais, Lisbon and Matosinhos.

The meeting was introduced by the Mayor of Setúbal, Maria Das Dores Meira, who stressed the need for cities to include the digital environment in their reflection and public policies. Although social media can bring progress and opportunities for policy makers and the public, they can also be used for criminal purposes.

The morning was devoted to a series of presentations. Pilar de la Torre and Myassa Djebara, Programme Managers at Efus, presented the first conclusions and recommendations of the Medi@4sec project, in which Efus is a partner and which will conclude at the end of the year.

Professor Rob Procter, Deputy Head (Research) of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Warwick, which leads the project, made a presentation on “What crisis organisations do on social media”.

Recommendations for cities about online communication processes

Paulo Ornellas Flor, sub-intendant at the Lisbon metropolitan police, explained how his unit uses social media to manage large events. Sérgio Mateus, head of the communications department of the city of Setúbal, presented his city’s digital communication strategy. Lastly, Alexander Aleluia, from Setúbal’s civil protection service, presented their social media communication strategy.

The afternoon was devoted to exchanging in sub-groups on the opportunities, weaknesses and threats of the use of social media by cities when managing large events. Participants designed collaboratively recommendations for cities aimed at improving online communication processes and designing appropriate actions to improve their knowledge and expertise on media.

The conclusion from these exchanges is that local authorities need to make progress in their use of digital platforms for security, both when communicating with the public and to prevent online crime.

Medi@4sec will organise three more dissemination events in the upcoming months. The next one will be held in the Emilia Romagna region (IT) on 30 October on the theme “Social media and local police in Europe: cities communicate with citizens for security and trust”.

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Flag_of_Europe.svgMEDI@4SEC is funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union.