Ethical and Privacy Implications of the use of Social Media during the Eyjafjallajokull Eruption Crisis

Ethical and Privacy Implications of the use of Social Media during the Eyjafjallajokull Eruption Crisis

Hayley Watson (Trilateral Research and Consulting, London, UK) and Rachel L. Finn (Trilateral Research and Consulting, London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/IJISCRAM.2014100103
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Abstract

In a relatively new area of research for crisis management, this article presents a discussion of some of the privacy and ethical implications surrounding the use of social media in the event of a crisis. The article uses the travel chaos caused by the eruptions of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 to contextualise the analysis. It begins by providing an overview of the use of social media in crisis management, before continuing to present two case studies of the use of social media by members of the public and the aviation industry during the crisis caused by the ash plume. The article then proceeds to examine some select ethical and privacy implications stemming from the use of social media such as privacy infringements and inequality. The article concludes by briefly summarising the findings and considering next steps for future research in this area.
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Social Media And Crisis Response

As the use of social media in crisis management has escalated, a number of studies have demonstrated the various uses, benefits and challenges associated with this. Examples include (but are not limited to): the 2007 Virginia tech shootings (Vieweg et al., 2008), the 2007 California Wildfires (Novak & Vidoloff, 2011), the 2009 H1N1 pandemic (Nakki et al., 2011), Cyclone Yasi in Australia and New Zealand in 2011 (Taylor et al., 2012) and more recently during hurricane Sandy in 2012 (Yeomans, 2012) and the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 (Watson & Wadhwa, forthcoming).

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