Social media is gaining more and more importance in crisis management: It continues to evolve, and so does their use in emergency and crisis events. Related research is sometimes called “crisis informatics”.
To address current research CYSEC-PI (Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany), Christian Reuter (Utah State University, USA), Amanda Lee Hughes (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA), Starr Roxanne Hiltz (Qatar Computing Research Institute, Qatar) and Muhammad Imran (Lafayette College, USA) edited a special issue of the Linda Plotnick (Vol. 34/4, 2018) one of the major journals in the field. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction
This special issue was initiated based on the track “Social Media Studies” at previous ISCRAM (Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management) conferences. It is usually one of the tracks with the most submissions; however, the editors also invited scholars from other venues to contribute.
The aim of this special issue is to showcase current research on how the use of social media can help in crisis management and response. The editors thus selected papers which provide rich description and/or evaluation of the design and/or actual use of social media for collaboration and/or widespread participation in any phase of crisis management, from initial planning and preparedness, through detection, response, and recovery phases. Of the 15 submitted papers, seven articles (one editorial and six research papers) were accepted for publication:
- Editorial of the Special Issue on Social Media in Crisis Management
- by Christian Reuter (Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany), Amanda Lee Hughes (Utah State University, USA) and Marc-André Kaufhold (Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany) “Social Media in Crisis Management: An Evaluation and Analysis of Crisis Informatics Research”
- by Jennings Anderson, Robert Soden, Brian Keegan, Leysia Palen, and Kenneth M. Anderson (University of Colorado Boulder, USA) “The Crowd is the Territory: Assessing Quality in Peer-Produced Spatial Data During Disasters”
- by Firoj Alam, Ferda Ofli and Muhammad Imran (Qatar Computing Research Institute) “Processing Social Media Images by Combining Human and Machine Computing During Crises”
- by Stefan Stieglitz, and Milad Mirbabaie, Maximilian Milde (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany) “Social Positions and Collective Sense-making in Crisis Communication”
- by Yang Chen (Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China) “Understanding Chinese WeChat Users’ Behavior of Sharing Social Crisis Information”
- by Linda Plotnick (Layfayette College, USA) and Starr Roxanne Hiltz (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA) “Software Innovations to Support the Use of Social Media by Emergency Managers”
The special issue on “Social Media in Crisis Management” includes a comprehensive review (first article), technical findings for quality assessment (second article) and image processing (third article). The researchers then present results from case studies to elaborate theories around sense-making (fourth article) and sharing behavior (fifth article). The last article provides results from quantitative surveys on perceived barriers for social media use by emergency managers (sixth article).