2015 Seminar Series
Social Media Use during Disaster Events: The Evolving Role of the Connected Crowd in Response and Resilience
Crisis events in the physical world are now precipitating mass convergence events online, where thousands and in some cases millions of people turn to social media to seek and share information. This activity includes a new form of spontaneous volunteerism—digital volunteerism—where individuals and organizations come together in online spaces to provide assistance, both to those affected and to emergency responders. Often this takes the form of informational assistance, as volunteers help to process, filter, categorize, map and route information. Starbird's research has focused on ways in which remote volunteers contribute to these efforts. In this talk, she will cover some of the foundational research in digital volunteerism, and discuss as well more recent studies examining how members of affected communities, including emergency responders and local volunteers, come together with remote volunteers to participate in "emergent crowdwork" after disasters.
About Kate Starbird
Kate Starbird is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering and Director of the Emerging Capacities of Mass Participation Laboratory. The emCOMP Lab examines the dynamics of and applications for massive interaction facilitated by social media and other online platforms. The lab also considers how connected, collective intelligence manifests and can be supported within contexts of emergency and humanitarian response, political disruption, and other events of large-scale interest. Starbird received her PhD in 2012 from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Among her accomplishments, Starbird co-created "Tweak the Tweet," utilizing the Twitter platform as a two-way communication method to get on-the-ground help where it is most needed. This was first deployed just in time for the Haiti earthquake disaster. Starbird is the Principal Investigator (PI) for a National Science Foundation (NSF) two-year grant for the project, "Detecting Misinformation Flows in Social Media Spaces During Crisis Events."