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The Self-Organization of Digital Volunteers across Social Media: The Case of the 2013 European Floods in Germany

Kaufhold, Marc-André ; Reuter, Christian (2022)
The Self-Organization of Digital Volunteers across Social Media: The Case of the 2013 European Floods in Germany.
In: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 2016, 13 (1)
doi: 10.26083/tuprints-00020644
Article, Secondary publication, Publisher's Version

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Abstract

For almost 15 years, social media have been regularly used during emergencies. One of the most recent, and instructive, examples of its widespread use during a large scale scenario in Europe were the 2013 European floods. Public reporting during the event indicated, and our analysis confirms, that Twitter, Facebook (FB), Google Maps and other services were frequently used by affected citizen and volunteers to coordinate help activities among themselves. We conducted a qualitative analysis of selected emergent volunteer communities in Germany on FB and Twitter among others, and subsequently conducted interviews with FB group founders and activists. Our aim was to analyze the use of social media during this particular event, especially by digital volunteers. Our study illustrates the relevance of social media for German citizens in cases of disaster, focusing especially on the role of the moderator. Our specific emphasis was the embedding of social media in the organizing work done by said volunteers, emphasizing both the patterns of social media use and the challenges that result. We show that different social media were used in different ways: Twitter was used in the main for status updates while FB-pages were mostly intended to provide an overview. FB-groups also coordinated a multitude of activities.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2022
Creators: Kaufhold, Marc-André ; Reuter, Christian
Type of entry: Secondary publication
Title: The Self-Organization of Digital Volunteers across Social Media: The Case of the 2013 European Floods in Germany
Language: English
Date: 2022
Year of primary publication: 2016
Publisher: De Gruyter
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Volume of the journal: 13
Issue Number: 1
DOI: 10.26083/tuprints-00020644
URL / URN: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/20644
Corresponding Links:
Origin: Secondary publication service
Abstract:

For almost 15 years, social media have been regularly used during emergencies. One of the most recent, and instructive, examples of its widespread use during a large scale scenario in Europe were the 2013 European floods. Public reporting during the event indicated, and our analysis confirms, that Twitter, Facebook (FB), Google Maps and other services were frequently used by affected citizen and volunteers to coordinate help activities among themselves. We conducted a qualitative analysis of selected emergent volunteer communities in Germany on FB and Twitter among others, and subsequently conducted interviews with FB group founders and activists. Our aim was to analyze the use of social media during this particular event, especially by digital volunteers. Our study illustrates the relevance of social media for German citizens in cases of disaster, focusing especially on the role of the moderator. Our specific emphasis was the embedding of social media in the organizing work done by said volunteers, emphasizing both the patterns of social media use and the challenges that result. We show that different social media were used in different ways: Twitter was used in the main for status updates while FB-pages were mostly intended to provide an overview. FB-groups also coordinated a multitude of activities.

Status: Publisher's Version
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-206444
Classification DDC: 000 Generalities, computers, information > 004 Computer science
300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences > 380 Commerce, communications, transportation
Divisions: 20 Department of Computer Science
20 Department of Computer Science > Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC)
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2022 13:09
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2022 08:58
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