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MARKED SAFE: 8 Articles on Social Media & Disaster Response


Social media plays a pivotal role in how we communicate with each other during emergencies and disasters. Whether natural or human-made, social media can change the face of emergency response. It is a powerful tool that can help alert authorities of danger, share information on safe spaces, and let friends and family know that people are out of harm’s way. Without a doubt, social media is beneficial in protecting countless lives. Or is it? Social media has also made many adverse contributions and assisted in the expansion of terror cells, even going as far as to live stream attacks as we recently saw in New Zealand. There are many advantages and disadvantages to the adoption of using social media during a disaster. While false information is capable of spreading like wildfire, the insurmountable good that is achieved should not be negated. The following eight articles help to shed light on the future of social media and how to use it to the advantage of rescue workers and citizens alike.

#1 Harnessing the Crowdsourcing Power of Social Media for Disaster

This article discusses the pros and cons of crowdsourcing applications and how they are used to coordinate disaster relief. It addresses the different challenges that a crowdsourcing application may cause while analyzing the pros and cons of social media being used during and after a disaster.

Photo by WikiImages for use through Pixabay.

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#2 Social Media & Disasters: Uses, Options, and Considerations

Social media plays a variety of roles of interest to lawmakers when it comes to emergencies and disasters. Whether it is a passive role such as spreading useful information, or more complex such as conducting emergency communications and issuing warnings, the many functions of social media and its future requires extensive research and deliberation.

Photo by Olga Oginskaya for use through Pixabay.

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#3 How Facebook Wants to Save the World

In the past few years, Facebook has become one of the most important response tools used by crisis responders, governments, and citizens during a disaster or terror attack. With closing in on 2.4 billion users, it was a natural progression with its global reach, yet has still caught many off guard, including Facebook itself.

Photo by Photo Mix for use through Pixabay.

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#4 Media, Terrorism & Society: Perspectives & Trends in the Digital

This article discusses how as technology continues to evolve it is also opening up new and more efficient ways to instill fear and create confusion throughout the population. The author discusses the crossroads between society, technology and terrorism and how graphic imagery shared on social media sites affects viewers.

Photo by WikiImages for use through Pixabay.

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#5 Victims’ Use of Social Media During the Utoya Terror Attacks

This article interviews eight survivors of the 2011 terror attack in Norway and looks at how they chose to cope and communicate via Facebook both during and after an attack that left 77 people dead. The paper uses Narrative Therapy to study how social media aided in uniting the victims and country through shared experience and grief.

Photo by Noel Bauza for use through Pixabay.

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#6 Social Media and Disasters: A Functional Framework

Social media is utilized by a variety of users during disaster response and include communities, government, individuals, organizations, and media outlets alongside distinct uses including detection, warnings, updates, evacuations, search and rescue, and news. This article outlines a framework for practical use in future emergencies and disasters.

Photo by Free-Photos for use through Pixabay.

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#7 Emergency Management in the Era of Social Media

Emergency responders have been quick to adopt social media as part of their communication plans during disasters to connect with their citizenry. This article aims to encourage a full integration of social media into an agency's disaster and emergency planning.

Photo by Angelo Giordano for use through Pixabay.

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#8 Managing Social Media Uncertainty

This paper discusses the research in progress in regards to creating a functioning framework for citizens and first responders to use during a crisis. While life-saving information can be transmitted via social media at speeds never seen before it is troubling to consider the rate in which false information can also be disseminated.

Photo by WikiImages for use through Pixabay.

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