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Leveraging Bystander Reports in Emergency Response Work: Framing Emergency Managers Social Media Use

Conference paper
Authors Fredrik Bergstrand
Dick Stenmark
Published in Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Pages 162-171
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 162-171
Language en
Keywords social media, emergency response work, bystander reports
Subject categories Information Systems, Social aspects


This paper considers empirical data gathered on the use of social media and online bystander reports in operative emergency response work. Interviews with 12 emergency response professionals have been conducted in order to understand the role of social media, as we need to look at how professional actors use and make sense of this technology as part of their work. Focus is on the use, interpretation, and experiences of bystander reports in early phases of emergency events. The findings of a frame analysis suggest that bystander reports present both new opportunities and challenges to this time-critical work by providing information otherwise not available. These reports also change how emergencies are communicated. Leveraging bystander reports is not yet an organizational capability, but rather a technique used by individuals engaged in emerging practices. Textual information is often considered ambiguous and hard to interpret, while experienced professionals leverage visible information in photographs to make their own interpretations of ongoing emergency events.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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