Thursday, 16 April 2015

SUPER: Towards the use of Social Sensors for Security Assessments and Proactive Management of Emergencies

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Social media statistics during recent disasters (e.g. the 20 million tweets relating to `Sandy' storm and the sharing of related photos in Instagram at a rate of 10/sec) suggest that the understanding and management of real-world events by civil protection and law enforcement agencies could benefit from the effective blending of social media information into their resilience processes. In this paper, we argue that despite the widespread use of social media in various domains (e.g. marketing/branding/finance), there is still no easy, standardized and effective way to leverage different social media streams -- also referred to as social sensors -- in security/emergency management applications. We also describe the EU FP7 project SUPER (Social sensors for secUrity assessments and Proactive EmeRgencies management), started in 2014, which aims to tackle this technology gap.

Richard McCreadie, Karolin Kappler, Magdalini Kardara, Andreas Kaltenbrunner, Craig Macdonald, John Soldatos and Iadh Ounis
SUPER: Towards the use of Social Sensors for Security Assessments and Proactive Management of Emergencies
In Proceedings of SWDM 2015 (at WWW 2015).

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Crowdsourced Rumour Identification During Emergencies

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When a significant event occurs, many social media users leverage platforms such as Twitter to track that event. Moreover, emergency response agencies are increasingly looking to social media as a source of real-time information about such events. However, false information and rumours are often spread during such events, which can influence public opinion and limit the usefulness of social media for emergency management. In this paper, we present an initial study into rumour identification during emergencies using crowdsourcing. In particular, through an analysis of three tweet datasets relating to emergency events from 2014, we propose a taxonomy of tweets relating to rumours. We then perform a crowdsourced labeling experiment to determine whether crowd assessors can identify rumour-related tweets and where such labeling can fail. Our results show that overall, agreement over the tweet labels produced were high (0.7634 Fleiss kappa), indicating that crowd-based rumour labeling is possible. However, not all tweets are of equal difficulty to assess. Indeed, we show that tweets containing disputed/controversial information tend to be some of the most difficult to identify.  

Richard McCreadie, Craig Macdonald and Iadh Ounis.
Crowdsourced Rumour Identification During Emergencies
In Proceedings of RDSM 2015 (at WWW 2015).

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