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A Comprehensive Review on improving Social Media Use for Disaster Resilience

In the wake of modern challenges and disasters, leveraging social sensing data for disaster resilience has become crucial. A recent review article, "Improving social media use for disaster resilience: challenges and strategies" was published in the International Journal of Digital Earth. This paper highlights the benefits and challenges of social media usage for disaster resilience and proposes a set of actionable strategies for improvement. This work is the result of collaborative research by eminent scholars, including Dr. Nina S. N. Lam, Dr. Michelle Meyer, Dr. Margaret Reams, Dr. Seungwon Yang, Dr. Kisung Lee, Dr. Lei Zou, Dr. Volodymyr Mihunov, Dr. Kejin Wang, Dr. Ryan Kirby, and Dr. Heng Cai.



Major Contributions

  1. Effective Communication Platform: The paper establishes social media platforms, such as Twitter, as vital tools for disseminating information during disasters.

  2. Ground Truth Information: Social media provides real-time updates that help in emergency response and rescue operations.

  3. Insight into People's Sentiments: Monitoring social media interactions can offer essential insights into public sentiment and reactions during a crisis.

  4. Predictive Modeling: Social media data allows for predictive modeling to anticipate disaster impacts and necessary preparations.

Challenges and Strategies

Despite these benefits, the paper also identifies four major challenges:

  1. Spread of False Information: Social media's unfiltered nature can lead to the rapid dissemination of incorrect or misleading information.

  2. Social and Geographical Disparities: Differences in social media usage across various regions and communities may lead to uneven information distribution.

  3. Technical Issues with Big Data: Handling vast amounts of noisy and chaotic data can create complications, especially in improving location accuracy.

  4. Algorithm Bias: Biases in AI and other types of modeling may skew results and interpretations.

To combat these issues, the authors propose twenty comprehensive strategies aimed at the four major sectors involved: organizations, individuals, social media companies, and researchers.


Citation: Nina S. N. Lam, Michelle Meyer, Margaret Reams, Seungwon Yang, Kisung Lee, Lei Zou, Volodymyr Mihunov, Kejin Wang, Ryan Kirby & Heng Cai (2023) Improving social media use for disaster resilience: challenges and strategies, International Journal of Digital Earth, 16:1, 3023-3044, DOI: 10.1080/17538947.2023.2239768

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