Beyond the Trustworthy Tweet:
A Deeper Understanding of Microblogged Data Use
by Disaster Response and Humanitarian Relief...
Opportunity:
Microblogging
New technological affordances allow for…
• data from crowds of non-professional participants
• ...
Problem Statement: Despite the evidence of strong value to
those experiencing the disaster and those seeking information
c...
Research Goal
• Map the information needs and
flow through response
organizations
• Map patterns of decisions
made during ...
Old History
ISCRAM 2011—
• We reported that microblogged data produced by citizens were akin to
food that responding organ...
We considered these to be three discreet options, with larger community
favoring the third, most technical choice
However,...
New Story
• Beyond Data Quality
• Beyond Trustworthiness
• Fast, Good Enough Data
• From a community
The landscape of the ...
THE GOOD ENOUGH PRINCIPLE IN
HUMANITARIAN ACTION
• There have always been imperfect data and knowledge
during disasters
• ...
RESEARCH DESIGN
Our Team: EMERSE: Enhanced Messaging for Emergency
Response
Facilitated by our partner NetHope.org. Second...
Findings: A Varied Landscape of Data Quality
Summary: Responders already make decisions based on imperfect data, often
fro...
Findings: A Varied Landscape of
Decisions
Summary: Information needs changed as
the disaster environment changed
Onset of ...
Findings: Data Type Influences the
Required Level of Data Quality
Summary: Requirements for data quality and trustworthine...
Findings: Networks of Responders Cross Organizational
Boundaries
Summary: All subjects followed members of the humanitaria...
Findings: Reliance on Volunteer and Technical
Communities
Summary: Subjects mentioned that they had already used
or were p...
Discussion: Organic Bounded Trust Community
• A form of bounded environment has in part grown organically
• Employees and ...
Conclusions:
• Twitter is a food that has always
been consumed by response
community, but in varied forms and
times, which...
Encourage humanitarian
workers to use social media
regularly and build networks
organic network of humanitarian
microblogg...
• Encourage response organizations to continue to pursue
computational and automatic solutions assessing accuracy
and trus...
Thank you.
Questions?
ISCRAM 2013: Beyond the Trustworthy Tweet: A Deeper Understanding of Microblogged Data Use  by Disaster Response and Human...
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ISCRAM 2013: Beyond the Trustworthy Tweet: A Deeper Understanding of Microblogged Data Use by Disaster Response and Humanitarian Relief Organizations

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Authors: Andrea H. Tapia
Kathleen A. Moore 
Nicholas J. Johnson
Penn State University
College of Information Sciences and Technology

Published in: Technology, Business
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Transcript of "ISCRAM 2013: Beyond the Trustworthy Tweet: A Deeper Understanding of Microblogged Data Use by Disaster Response and Humanitarian Relief Organizations"

  1. 1. Beyond the Trustworthy Tweet: A Deeper Understanding of Microblogged Data Use by Disaster Response and Humanitarian Relief Organizations Andrea H. Tapia Kathleen A. Moore Nicholas J. Johnson Penn State University College of Information Sciences and Technology
  2. 2. Opportunity: Microblogging New technological affordances allow for… • data from crowds of non-professional participants • average citizens reporting on activities on-the-ground during a disaster • a way of mitigating the impacts of and speeding up the recovery from extreme events • is ubiquitous, rapid and accessible • empowers average citizens to become more situationally aware during disasters • coordinate to help themselves
  3. 3. Problem Statement: Despite the evidence of strong value to those experiencing the disaster and those seeking information concerning the disaster, there has been very little uptake of message data by large-scale, disaster response organizations Research Questions: (1) What are the criteria for measurement, standards and threshold for relevant, trustworthy and actionable data to disaster response organizations? (2) How can automatic measures of trust be incorporated into organizational decision-making practices so that the serving of these data occurs at the appropriate time, in the appropriate form, to the appropriate person, and the appropriate level of confidence?
  4. 4. Research Goal • Map the information needs and flow through response organizations • Map patterns of decisions made during a disaster response, types and forms of data inputs to those decisions, and varying standards for relevance and veracity for each • Understand the data requirements at decision points during a response
  5. 5. Old History ISCRAM 2011— • We reported that microblogged data produced by citizens were akin to food that responding organizations could not eat • Responding organizations saw the data as untrustworthy, they could not be inserted into the critical decision tree of the organization Data quality was the single most important determining factor in use
  6. 6. We considered these to be three discreet options, with larger community favoring the third, most technical choice However, after our second round of data collection, we see these three potential paths all playing out in some fashion and often overlapping Our second round of data collection has shown us that informational needs of humanitarian organizations responding to a crisis are varied, and standards for quality of that data also varies ISCRAM 2011 We offered three potential paths toward increased microblogged data use by humanitarian organizations: 1. bounded microblogging environment 2. ambient or contextual use 3. computational solutions to automating trustworthiness
  7. 7. New Story • Beyond Data Quality • Beyond Trustworthiness • Fast, Good Enough Data • From a community The landscape of the use of microblogged data in crisis response is varied, with pockets of use and acceptance among organizations Microblogged data is useful to responders in situations where information is limited, such as at beginning of an emergency response effort, and when risks of ignoring an accurate response outweigh risks of acting on an incorrect one
  8. 8. THE GOOD ENOUGH PRINCIPLE IN HUMANITARIAN ACTION • There have always been imperfect data and knowledge during disasters • Act on good intelligence, not perfect • Satisficing and good enough principles • Strive for helpfulness, not accuracy
  9. 9. RESEARCH DESIGN Our Team: EMERSE: Enhanced Messaging for Emergency Response Facilitated by our partner NetHope.org. Second Round of Data Collection. • Interviewed representatives from 21 of the 38 NetHope members • Information managers associated with Emergency Response • Applied analytical induction coding process
  10. 10. Findings: A Varied Landscape of Data Quality Summary: Responders already make decisions based on imperfect data, often from second-hand sources. The inherently chaotic nature of any disaster limits responders’ ability to both gather and assess the quality of information from traditional sources. Subjects said: • We use best data available, but in most cases high quality data is never available • We regret that better data was not typically available, acceptance that this condition was part of the nature of their work, and understanding that despite lack of perfect data hundreds of emergencies had been responded to successfully, millions of lives had been saved and regions had been reconstructed
  11. 11. Findings: A Varied Landscape of Decisions Summary: Information needs changed as the disaster environment changed Onset of a disaster needed to understand context and scope of an emergency, including size and location of affected population and extent of damage to basic support infrastructure Later, they need information about specific gaps in availability of goods, services and other forms of aid Still later, they need information about operational coordination, i.e. who is responding with what and where Lastly, they need regular updates on the security situation, impact of intervention, status of affected population, and constant inter-organizational coordination of information Microblogged data’s value as an information source is not a constant, and would vary as a disaster response develops.
  12. 12. Findings: Data Type Influences the Required Level of Data Quality Summary: Requirements for data quality and trustworthiness were variable depending on the type of question asked by the responding organization • initial awareness of a disaster they would accept a low or unknown threshold for data quality in exchange for real time knowledge • looked to social media data during first few days after a disaster for contextual data • Around half of subjects stated that they would listen to microblogged data if it spoke of a security threat to NGO field workers, supplies or camps • some types of questions that required a very high level of confidence in which microblogged data could not yet be used as a key input
  13. 13. Findings: Networks of Responders Cross Organizational Boundaries Summary: All subjects followed members of the humanitarian community via social media. • Each had a patchwork of different sources of microblogged data including official accounts, unofficial and informal blogs of employees of these organizations, employees of various organizations, blogs of humanitarian focused or interested individuals and family and friends • Personal social network was already producing trustworthy and actionable data • It served as a powerful informal source of information about the response and the conditions during a disaster
  14. 14. Findings: Reliance on Volunteer and Technical Communities Summary: Subjects mentioned that they had already used or were planning to use secondary microblogged data-- Twitter data that had been collected on a large scale and processed by outside groups • Expressed more trust of volunteer and technical communities than original data-- Ushahidi, Crisis Mappers, The Standby Task Force and the Digital Humanitarian Network • They transferred expertise and trust to outside their organization, to trusting volunteers processing data rather than data itself
  15. 15. Discussion: Organic Bounded Trust Community • A form of bounded environment has in part grown organically • Employees and volunteers already working in relief sector have become active social media users, perhaps overcoming a technology adoption problem as previously suggested • Participants in these networks are friends and friends of friends and largely trusted, sharing same cultural understandings of humanitarian response and practice • This is largely informal, organic and crosses organizational borders and hierarchies • The data produced in these groups serves as supplemental input to decisions made by organizational responders
  16. 16. Conclusions: • Twitter is a food that has always been consumed by response community, but in varied forms and times, which may or may not be official or formal channels • Encourage response organizations to recognize their own current use of microblogged or crowdsourced data and validate that use with additional organizational suppor • Adjust organizational standards for data quality and accuracy based on type of decision
  17. 17. Encourage humanitarian workers to use social media regularly and build networks organic network of humanitarian microblogging users could serve as a middle ground between traditional data sources and unfiltered microblogging data • Non-competitive nature of goals of humanitarian response organizations is ideal for fostering an environment for inter-organizational information sharing • Having an informal, everyday knowledge of what other humanitarian workers are doing could lead to better organizational efficiency and co- ordination of response and recovery efforts • With use comes normalcy and trust
  18. 18. • Encourage response organizations to continue to pursue computational and automatic solutions assessing accuracy and trust in crowdsourced data • Shift some of burden to outside volunteer organizations • Ensuring that organizations that specialize in processing microblogged data are producing reliable data could also help encourage humanitarian response organizations to use these sources
  19. 19. Thank you. Questions?

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