Tweeting Up a Storm
Commons Lab, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, December 2012
We are inundated daily with stories from the news media about the possible impact social media like Facebook and Twitter will have on our lives. When a storm like Hurricane Sandy hits the East Coast, can this technology actually help to save lives and reduce catastrophic damages? It’s possible. For instance, mobile devices could allow emergency responders, affected communities, and volunteers to rapidly collect and share information as a disaster unfolds. Photos and videos provided through social media could help officials determine where people are located, assess the responses and needs of affected communities—such as water, food, shelter, power and medical care—and alert responders and citizens to changing conditions.
At least that is the promise. When Hurricane Irene barreled across the Eastern seaboard in August 2011, many in the news media cited it as a pivotal moment for social media for disasters. But research we conducted on the use of social media during Irene suggests otherwise. While some emergency management departments launched new social media outreach strategies during the storm, particularly to push information out to the public, many did not change their practices radically and overall use of the technology varied.
This article explores the challenges of effective use of social media for disaster response, read more here.
- Social media changes disaster response (brucehensler.typepad.com)
- One County’s Social Media Stats: Hurricane Sandy (idisaster.wordpress.com)
- Social Media In a Disaster: From Hoaxes to Healing (blogs.sap.com)
Tags: crisismapping, Crowdsourcing, Cybersecurity, East Coast of the United States, Emergency Management, Emergency service, Facebook, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, Legal, Liability, Mobile, Mobile device, Privacy, Security, Social Media, Trust, Twitter
Lea Shanley is the Founder and former Director of the Commons Lab of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She is currently serving as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at NASA and GSA's 18F innovation team on crowdsourcing and citizen science.
Disclaimer: This is a personal blog of links to relevant news, events, and reports, provided for educational purposes only. The opinions and views contained therein are those only of the authors of the original articles. These opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the editor of this blog or or associated organizations.
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