Social media police sites are highly appreciated and trusted


Many participants were unaware of public authorities' social media sites/profiles which, by all those participants who had known or used such sites before, were trusted considerably more than social media messages from private media channels or other individual social media users. Here, contrary to the participants' general feelings of distrust towards the German police in effective disaster response as indicated by the quantitative data, social media sites from the police are highly appreciated and trusted. This may be interpreted as the participants' trust being based not on their perceptions of the police forces' physical disaster response, but on the police's perceived ability to provide truthful and timely information. It also points at the potential of social media usage to rebuild citizens' trust in the police by specifically taking up this role of a trustworthy information provider at times where both private and public media channels are increasingly distrusted.

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