Now you can find relevant social media content on Public Alerts...

This is our 2nd post on how we’re developing our products to allow users to contribute what they know about an unfolding crisis.

Many people on the front lines of a disaster are sharing relevant information through social media. We want to help make this content easier to find, and available alongside information from official sources. 

It’s no small feat to identify the most useful information— but it’s important to start somewhere. That’s why we’re taking a first step to integrate social media in our #crisisresponse products. 

Starting today, you can find relevant data from Twitter on a subset of Google Public Alerts. We launched Public Alerts to provide updates from official sources, such as the National Weather Service, via Google Now, Search, and Google Maps. Now, some of the more extreme Public Alerts will include Tweets to help answer important questions: are schools closing? Are neighbors evacuating? What are people seeing on the front lines of a storm? 

Here’s an example: this is a Public Alert from a flood warning from last week, viewed on a mobile phone. In this screenshot, existing sections such as Recommended Actions and News will be accompanied by a feed of relevant Tweets, seen as you scroll down. This is also available on the desktop view of an Alert.

For now, this is only in English-speaking regions, and only for our Public Alerts product, but we’re working to add new kinds of social content to other products and geographies in the future. 

We hope these initial steps help people access more of the information they need during a crisis— and we welcome your feedback on how we can do more. In the meantime, stay safe this hurricane season!
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2014-06-03
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