Issue 8
Monday, 07 October 2019
Charles Darwin University
Rifka Sibarani is finding ways to foil fake news
Rifka Sibarani is finding ways to foil fake news

Untangling crossed wires in emergency comms

By Andrew Hall

PhD candidate Rifka Sibarani is working on creating a model that clears public communications channels of interference in disaster and/or public emergency situations. 

Rifka has identified two geographical areas – northern Tasmania and Lombok, Indonesia – that share similarities and unique differences in an effort to compare emergency communications, with an emphasis on social media platforms.

“My study seeks to find a model to manage misinformation on social media to prepare for natural hazards in the future,” Rifka said.

“This study aims to improve our understanding of how risk perception and social media-user behaviour affects their decision-making when they are affected by rumour-spreading, gossip, ‘fake news’ and other forms of misinformation to prepare for future disaster events.

“Social media has proved to be an effective communications tool in past emergencies in Australia, Indonesia and throughout the world.

“Unfortunately, it is also an ideal platform for those whose motives might not coincide with the best interests of others. 

“I’m hoping – in the context of broader research efforts – I can build a profile of existing policies and make a positive contribution to developing improved disaster and emergency communication strategies,” she said.

Rifka has a background in media relations in her native Indonesia, gained a Master of Public Policy from the University of Tasmania, and was a communications lecturer with Atma Jaya University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.