Natural disasters, especially those on the scale of the Queensland floods, generate an enormous amount of information -- and misinformation -- from official sources and from individuals on the ground. But this year, for the first time, a major media agency is attempting to make crowd sourced information a major part of its emergency coverage.

Emergencies catalyse our instinct to help people -- and the information age has given everybody the ability, no matter how physically remote they are, to participate in an event and feel connected, says Anahi Iacucci, an expert in social media and the crowdsourcing of emergency information. The current crisis has seen a rush of people take to Twitter, local and remote, attempting to spread helpful information via hashtags #qldfloods and #thebigwet.