Social Media in Emergencies: the Power of the Crowd

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The German media development organization Deutsche Welle Akademie was kind enough to ask me for an article on how social media can be used in crises. You can read the article here.

The example that I find most interesting is the work that PeaceTech Lab is doing. As mentioned in the article, they are analyzing changes in the volume of hate speech, correlate that with information about locations (not GPS data, but other contextual information that allows them to make assumptions about locale) and then share that information with NGOs and the UN on the ground. The idea being that an increase in hate speech often precedes an increase in violence. I find this a really interesting example of how qualitative content analysis, paired with sophisticated algorithms, can inform operational issues on the ground.

Read: Saving lives with social media: The power of the crowd in emergencies

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