Athens, 26 May 2017
In the frame of the European Research Programme “The emerging role of new social media in enhancing public security (Medi@4sec)”, the Center of Security Studies (KEMEA) organized on the 9th of May 2017 in Athens, the 2nd project workshop which focused on the benefits, threats and impact of social media on public safety before, during and after mass gathering events.
The workshop examined 3 important themes through the lenses of current and potential future social media practices, the evolving needs, the specific challenges presented, and the legal and ethical issues involved. More specifically, the themes explored comprised:
- Protests/demonstrationswhere civilians can mobilise and organise themselves into groups quickly and where social media can enable them to coordinate their movements.
- Large-scale events where large number of people congregate for a particular activity and can be targeted by criminals or terrorists.
- Mass migration, an increasing challenge across Europe, which often leads to mass gatherings, enhancing with the use of social media not only the safe movements and settlements of migrants but also the safety of citizens in the crossing and destination countries.
The workshop included presentations from various real case studies presented by stakeholders of different backgrounds and perspectives.
Stakeholders from security, academic, research, social movement, local government and other authorities and industry sectors from all over Europe, were engaged in an interactive dialogue and shared their views, experiences and best practices on the present and future use of social media in each of the above thematical areas.
Participants witnessed the power of social media networks and the significance of the vast amount, the reliability and the correct evaluation of the information created therein in extremely high speed. In addition, they realized the importance of citizens’ engagement, the readiness and quick response of public authorities, enabled by social media, in relevant mass gathering cases.
Reports on the workshop will be compiled by the project’s research team and will be made available on the project’s website. Follow us on Twitter @MEDIA4SEC or join the MEDIA4SEC Community on LinkedIn to stay tuned and join in the ongoing discussions.
The next Medi@4sec workshop which will focus on the ‘Dark Web’ is scheduled to be organized by TNO, one of the project’s consortium members, on 26th of September 2017, in Hague.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 700281