Social Media and Disasters: Applying a New Conceptual Framework to the Case of Storm Desmond

Social Media and Disasters: Applying a New Conceptual Framework to the Case of Storm Desmond

Briony J. Gray (University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom), Mark J. Weal (University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom) and David Martin (University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom)
DOI: 10.4018/IJISCRAM.2016100103
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Abstract

Conceptual frameworks which seek to integrate social media uses into disaster management strategies are employed in a range of events. With continued variations to online practices, developments in technology, and changes in online behaviours, it is imperative to provide conceptual frameworks which are relevant, current and insightful. This paper firstly conceptualizes a range of recent literature through inductive coding and proposes a new conceptual framework of current social media uses. Secondly, the framework is applied to a case study of a multi-hazard disaster: which are predicted to grow in severity and frequency due to climate change, alongside increased habitation of at-risk zones. Storm Desmond 2015 has been selected. Snowball sampling is used to identify networks of interest, and thematic analysis used to track changes in Twitter content over time. Web accessibility and information reliability issues are presented and discussed.
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Literature Review

This study uses the definition of McFarlane and Norris (2006) that a disaster is a traumatic event that is collectively experienced by a population. They may have a severe onset and are time-delimited. Disasters generally have natural, technological, or human causes, and are conceptualized in life-cycle phases, which are pre-event, event, and post-event.

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