Attack in Vienna

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On the evening of November 2, 2020, a 20-year-old man killed four people in the city center of Vienna, others are seriously injured.
Vienna, Austria
Involved Organisations:
Police Vienna
Publishing Organisation

Deutsche Hochschule der Polizei (DHPol)




Crowdsourcing, Social Media

  • Collecting and Analysing Information from SMCS
  • Ensuring Credible Information
  • Making Information Accessible
  • Mobilising Citizens
  • Targeting Communication
Disaster Management Phase

After, During

The perpetrator ended up being shot by Vienna police. He was identified and was already known to the authorities as a sympathizer of the Islamist terrorist militia Islamic State.
What was the overall goal of the Use Case?
The Use Case should visualize how social media can be used in crisis communication.
What worked well and could be recommended to others?

The Vienna police kept the public up to date via Twitter (Example: )

Shortly after the crime, photos and videos were already circulating on social networks. The police called on people to refrain from doing so and to upload the recordings to a police server instead. This way, tens of thousands of recordings could be evaluated.
What limitations were identified?
Several tabloid media outlets shared photos and videos of the crime, whereupon they were heavily criticized on social media and several hundreds of complaints were received by the Austrian Press Council. Austrian journalist Ingrid Brodnig rates the sharing of the videos as wrong. It is a danger for people on the ground and hinders the ongoing police operation. Apart from the fact that in this way one acts in the sense of the terrorists.
Which social media platforms were used?
Which hashtags or keywords were used?
#ViennaTerrorAttack, #0211w, #schleichdiduoaschloch