Current Issues in HCDE: Rumoring on Social Media after Disaster Events with Kate Starbird

Posted by emCOMP Lab on October 01, 2014
Wednesday October 8, 2014
Mary Gates Hall (MGH), room 241
UW Seattle campus

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Social media use is becoming an established feature of disaster response. People, including emergency responders and affected individuals, are increasingly turning to available platforms to seek and share information during major events like natural disasters, extreme weather events and political uprisings. These new information-sharing behaviors are accompanied by new opportunities for disaster response, as well as new challenges, including the rapid spread of misinformation. This talk provides some background on crisis informatics, an emerging field of research that examines information communication technology (ICT) use during disaster events, and then shifts to focus specifically on how rumors spread online after disaster events—and how the online crowd “works” to challenge and correct misinformation.

About the Speaker

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.”

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