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    Thursday, July 6, 2023

    Twitter Not Suited for Emergency Communications, Dutch Officials Say After Storm

    Twitter is not the right place to seek information during an emergency, Dutch politicians and a prominent online group said on Wednesday, following an incident in which citizens were directed to the platform for updates during a large storm.

    "We find it problematic that the government depends on Twitter for sharing crucial information," lawmaker Nico Drost's office said in emailed remarks to Reuters, citing accessibility, accountability and reliability issues.

    Twitter could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Several politicians and digital rights group Bits of Freedom said that was not appropriate, given that Twitter is a private company and the government has websites specifically set up for crisis communications.

    "It's ridiculous to use Twitter," said Bits of Freedom spokesperson Ber Engels, citing problems with dis-information and Twitter being hard to reach quickly for people without accounts. He also noted the company had recently imposed limits on the number of tweets that can be viewed by anyone who hasn't paid for a subscription.

    "You might see one tweet with great information from emergency services, but maybe there are 10 tweets that Twitter prioritizes which contain completely false information," he said.

    The regional fire department's Twitter account is not verified. Its most recent tweet directs users to a live blog hosted on the City of Amsterdam's website.

    Twitter's communication account did not immediately respond to questions. An email to Twitter's press email address generated an automatic poop emoji reply, in line with an announcement earlier this year by its boss Elon Musk. © Reuters

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