Sharing scientific data in a simple and immediate way and telling the story and the research and monitoring activities of the INGV Earthquake Department are some of the objectives of the INGVterremoti communication platform which, since 2010, has been informing the public about the seismic activity of these 12 years in Italy and in the world
Rome, December 19, 2022 – It has just been published in the magazine Frontiers, the study “Public earthquake communication in Italy through a multi-source social media platform: The INGVterremoti experience (2010-2022)”. The work, carried out by the INGVterremoti communication group, illustrates what has been done in this period to respond more and more effectively and quickly to the information needs of citizens in the event of a seismic event.
Earthquake reporting is an important issue in countries like Italy, where the seismic risk is high. Indeed, it constitutes an effective measure for risk mitigation, for the correct perception of natural phenomena and for increasing citizens’ awareness. Furthermore, fast, continuous and scientifically valid information makes it possible to counteract disinformation and fake news.
“We have developed a communication strategy for earthquake science and risk in Italy, mainly based on social media channels – explain Concetta Nostro and Alessandro Amato, researchers at INGV – The INGVterremoti platform was born between 2010 and 2012 with the l objective of increasing the scientific information released to the public, also creating a two-way communication channel between scientists and citizens”.
Over the last 12 years, the INGVterremoti platform has gained trust and popularity, increasing the number of people involved, which today amounts to several hundred thousand. “The platform consists of a coordinated suite of social media channels and a blog-magazine, where updates on current earthquake sequences and posts on scientific topics are continuously published. Our end users are mainly citizens, but also authorities and the media”.
Carlo Meletti and Emanuele Casarotti, INGV researchers, add: “particular attention was given to interactions with the public, especially on our Facebook page, in order to understand their information needs, identify rumors and fake news even in areas affected by seismic sequences and respond to the most urgent requests. In the recently published work, we describe INGVterremoti’s strategy and the different media used, focusing on their strengths and weaknesses that emerged through the experience carried out in recent years with the publication of provisional estimates of earthquake locations, an age-old question strongly requested by our followers ”.
The INGVterremoti communication channels have played a fundamental role in many seismic sequences of the last 12 years in Italy, starting from the Emilian sequence of 2012, up to that of central Italy, which began with the earthquake of August 24, 2016 and is still ongoing. Many in-depth articles have been published, with some regular columns. and monthly and annual updates on seismicity in order to develop citizens’ awareness of the seismic nature of our territory.
“Today INGVterremoti.com is considered a point of reference in information on earthquakes for the public, especially during seismic emergencies on the national territory. With over 1000 articles published, it represents a veritable “database” of information on seismicity, seismic history and seismological research by INGV. The challenge will be to continue this path by improving our communication in terms of quality and productivity, always ensuring continuity and timeliness in information on earthquakes”, summarizes Maurizio Pignone, INGV geologist and first author of the study.
“The timely communication of data and information on earthquakes to the public is an essential step to increase the resilience of society with a view to sustainability” concludes Claudio Chiarabba, Director of the Earthquakes Department of INGV.
INGVterremoti, over ten years of information on seismic activity in Italy and around the world – insalutenews.it