Strengthening Post-Disaster Management Activities by Rating Social Media Corpus

Strengthening Post-Disaster Management Activities by Rating Social Media Corpus

Banujan Kuhaneswaran (Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka), Banage T. G. S. Kumara (Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka) and Incheon Paik (University of Aizu, Japan)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJSSOE.2020010103
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Abstract

In times of natural disasters such as floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides, etc., people need information so that relief operations such as help can save many lives. The implications of using social media in post-disaster management are explored in the article. The approach has three main parts: (1) extraction, (2) classification, and (3) validation. The results prove that machine learning algorithms are highly reliable in elimination disaster non-related tweets and news posts. The authors strongly believe that their model is more reliable as they are validating the tweets using news posts by providing various ratings according to the trueness.
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Introduction

In recent years, several major natural disasters have hit the world. With natural disasters rising in recent years, their incidence is expected to continue to rise over the coming years. It leads to losses of money, the environment, or people. Natural disasters take tens, hundreds, and thousands of lives without warning (Velev & Zlateva, 2012), and millions of dollars include the destruction of animals and damage to properties (Sangameswar, Rao, & Satyanarayana, 2017).

Disasters are described as the state of disturbance and instability of the social fabric, which causes complete disturbance and dislocation in the society. Natural disasters have geographical elements, such as extent and borders. This is disrupted by the onset of a sudden disaster that adversely affects the natural, human, and social connections in the region (Simon, Goldberg, & Adini, 2015).

An emergency occurs when the normal dynamics of the economic, cultural, social, or political life of a place interrupts. These situations lead to both increased communication and complex, hard-to-manage information scenarios. These conditions are a concern for the accountable authority and emergency responders as they can pose both practical risks for information providers and heavy pressures in their active management. To reduce the human and economic effects of the incident, understanding what happens during and after an emergency is essential. Access to reliable and correct information is therefore important for prompt decisions and urgent action (Martinez-Rojas, del Carmen Pardo-Ferreira, & Rubio-Romero, 2018; Xu et al., 2017).

Countries are facing increasing frequency as well as increasing the intensity of climate change impacting natural disasters (Kryvasheyeu et al., 2016). A disaster is often seen not only as a major emergency but also as multiple 'mini-crises' or catastrophes over a period. In order to react to these simultaneous incidents, reacting organizations must be able to adapt to a complex environment by organizing the contact and operations across several functional fields. (Yates & Paquette, 2010). Eliminating catastrophe risks is not practicable, but the impact of disasters may be minimized by adequate preparations and safeguards (Sadhukhan, Banerjee, Das, & Sangaiah, 2018).

Communication is one of the key emergency management tools. It is critical when thousands of individuals and agencies respond to a crisis. The active participation of citizens after disasters, according to social scientists, was largely altruistic, including search and rescue, first aid treatment, victims’ evacuation, and online assistance. (Simon et al., 2015). Most disasters damage communication infrastructure seriously. Telephone switches and cell phone towers could collapse completely or in part, interrupting the much-needed communication. Timely and accurate knowledge, such as situational awareness and avoidance, may make a difference in the life or death of the catastrophe victims in the face of catastrophic natural disasters (Zhang, Fan, Yao, Hu, & Mostafavi, 2019).

The development of new technologies since the mid-1990s has led to the development of “social media” (SM), enabling the interaction and sharing of information through media that were not widely accessible or nonexistence 15 years ago. Social media examples are blogs, chat rooms, forums, wikis, YouTube channels, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, etc. Computers, tablets, smart and cell phones, and mobile text messages (SMS) can be used to access social media (Lindsay, 2011).

These social media has become a new channel in recent years for public information and warning in disasters, apart from mass media (e.g. radio, TV, and newspapers), and through word-of-mouth communication between family members and friends (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Social media offers people the ability to assist in emergency services by disseminating and sharing information with the public.

Social networking provides a participatory and inclusive framework and the capacity to create common awareness of public knowledge and alert methods. The phrase social sensor or human-based sensor applies to an agent that offers environment information on a social network after engaging with other agents (Xu et al., 2017).

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