On the need of opening up crowdsourced emergency management systems


Nowadays, social media analysis systems are feeding on user contributed data, either for beneficial purposes, such as emergency management, or for user profiling and mass surveillance. Here, we carry out a discussion about the power and pitfalls of public accessibility to social media-based systems, with specific regards to the emergency management application EARS (Earthquake Alert and Report System). We investigate whether opening such systems to the population at large would further strengthen the link between communities of volunteer citizens, intelligent systems, and decision makers, thus going in the direction of developing more sustainable and resilient societies. Our analysis highlights fundamental challenges and provides interesting insights into a number of research directions with the aim of developing human-centered social media-based systems.

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    Examples of organizations that currently employ digital volunteers and that define their role in modern emergency management are the Humanitarian Response (https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/applications/tools/category/digital-volunteers.) and the International Red Cross (http://redcrosschat.org/disaster-digital-volunteer-training/#sthash.yVdEzS21.dpbs).

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    https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alluvione_di_Genova_del_9_e_10_ottobre_2014. (in Italian)

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Correspondence to Stefano Cresci or Fabio Del Vigna.

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Avvenuti, M., Cresci, S., Vigna, F.D. et al. On the need of opening up crowdsourced emergency management systems. AI & Soc 33, 55–60 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-017-0709-4

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  • Social sensing
  • Social media mining
  • Collective intelligence
  • Emergency management
  • Crisis informatics