Building Social Resilience and Inclusion in Disasters: A Survey of Vulnerable Persons' Social Media Use
Keywords:Social media, vulnerable persons, disaster management, communication, community resilience
Social media (SM) is increasingly used to reach out to populations for preparedness and response to disasters. Given the disproportionate impacts of disasters on vulnerable populations (e.g., older persons, persons socially/geographically isolated, persons living with disabilities, persons of low socio-economic means) in this study we focus specifically on the attitudes, needs and future plans of vulnerable persons towards accessing and sharing information via SM during extreme weather events. Advancing understanding in this area is important as there is growing evidence that people who may be described as more vulnerable may have different communication needs and less access to disaster related information and technologies. We present the results of a survey of 215 vulnerable persons in Victoria, Australia. Rather than consider vulnerable persons as a homogenous group, we examine how persons with different vulnerabilities perceive SM for accessing and sharing information in the context of disasters and report findings which challenge prevalent assumptions about vulnerable persons and SM. Overall we find that vulnerable persons are not passive recipients of support during disasters but have self-awareness, a strong desire to receive information and the capacity to usefully contribute to the provision of reliable information via SM. With a view to improving outcomes for vulnerable persons in disasters we offer an agenda for future research.
Abedin, B., & Babar, A. (2018). Institutional vs. non-institutional use of social media during emergency response: A case of twitter in 2014 Australian bush fire. Information Systems Frontiers, 20(4), 729-740. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10796-017-9789-4
Al-Saggaf, Y., & Simmons, P. (2015). Social media in Saudi Arabia: Exploring its use during two natural disasters. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 95, 3-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2014.08.013
Alexander, D. (2014). Social media in disaster risk reduction and crisis management. Science and Engineering Ethics, 20, 717–733. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-013-9502-z
Alwang, J., Siegel, P. B., & Jorgensen, S. L. (2001). Vulnerability: A view from different disciplines. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://documents.worldbank.org/en/publication/
American Red Cross. (2012). Social media in disasters and emergencies. Retrieved July 21, 2021, fromhttp://www.a1881.g.akamai.net/7/1881/26640/v0001/redcross.download.akamai.com/ 26640/PollData/Social.
Appleby, L. (2013). Connecting the last mile: The role of communications in the Great East Japan Earthquake. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from www.internews.org/sites/default
Appleby-Arnold, S., Brockdorff, N., Fallou, L., & Bossu, R. (2019). Truth, trust, and civic duty: Cultural factors in citizens' perceptions of mobile phone apps and social media in disasters. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 27(4), 293-305. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-5973.12282
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2011). Measures of socioeconomic status: Information paper. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/subscriber.nsf/
Baker, S., Brown, T., Caleb, N., Marella, M., Morris, K, Nasak, M. ... (2017). Disability inclusion in disaster risk reduction: Experiences of people with disabilities in Vanuatu during and after tropical Cyclone Pam and recommendations for humanitarian agencies. CBM - Nossal Institute Partnership for Disability Inclusion Development. Retrieved January 22, 2022, from https://mspgh.unimelb.edu.au/_data/assets/pdf_file/0011/2567576/WEB-DIDRR-Report-14112017.pdf
Barnard, Y., Bradley, M. D., Hodgson, F., & Lloyd, A. D. (2013). Learning to use new technologies by older adults: Perceived difficulties, experimentation behaviour and usability. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1715-1724. https://doi.org/10.1016/
Bird, D., Ling, M., & Haynes, K. (2012). Flooding Facebook ? The use of social media during the Queensland and Victorian floods. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 27(1), 27-33.
Buheji, M., da Costa Cunha, K., Beka, G., Mavrić, B., de Souza, Y. L. d. C., da Costa Silva, S. S., . . . Yein, T. C. (2020). The extent of COVID-19 pandemic socio-economic impact on global poverty. A global integrative multidisciplinary review. American Journal of Economics, 10(4), 213-224. https://doi.org/10.5923/j.economics.20201004.02
Bunker, D. (2020). Who do you trust? The digital destruction of shared situational awareness and the COVID-19 infodemic. International Journal of Information Management, 55, 102201. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2020.102201
Canadian Red Cross. (2012). Social media during emergencies. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from http://www.redcross.ca/cmslib/general/pub_social_media_in_emergencies_survey_oc 012_en.pdf.
Chan, Y., & Walmsley, R. P. (1997). Learning and understanding the Kruskal-Wallis one- way analysis-of-variance-by-ranks test for differences among three or more independent groups. Physical Therapy, 77(12), 1755-1761. https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/77.12.1755
Choudrie, J., Pheeraphuttranghkoon, S., & Davari, S. (2018). The digital divide and older adult population adoption, use and diffusion of mobile phones: A quantitative study. Information Systems Frontiers, 23(3), 673-695. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10796-018-9875-2
Cohen, O., Goldberg, A., Lahad, M., & Aharonson-Daniel, L. (2017). Building resilience: The relationship between information provided by municipal authorities during emergency situations and community resilience. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 121, 119-125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2016.11.008
Cooper, V., Fairbrother, P., Elliott, G., Walker, M., & Ch'ng, H.-Y. (2020). Shared responsibility and community engagement: Community narratives of bushfire risk information in Victoria, Australia. Journal of Rural Studies, 80, 259-272. https://doi.org/10.1016/
Cumming, G. (2012). Understanding the new statistics: Effect sizes, confidence intervals, and meta- analysis. New York: Routledge.
Cutter, S. L. (1996). Vulnerability to environmental hazards. Progress in Human Geography, 20(4), 529-539. https://doi.org/10.1177/030913259602000407
Cutter, S. L., Boruff, B. J., & Shirley, W. L. (2003). Social vulnerability to environmental hazards. Social Science Quarterly, 84(2), 242-261. https://doi.org/10.1111/1540-6237.8402002
Deacon, B. (2018). Emergency announcements alone during disasters not reliable in saving lives. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-06/emergency- announcements-alone-during-disasters-not-reliable/9304666
Eakin, H., & Luers, A. L. (2006). Assessing the vulnerability of social-environmental systems. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 31(1), 365-394. https://doi.org/10.1146/
Elbanna, A., Bunker, D., Levine, L., & Sleigh, A. (2019). Emergency management in the changing world of social media: Framing the research agenda with the stakeholders through engaged scholarship. International Journal of Information Management, 47, 112- 120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2019.01.011
Ellis, K., & Goggin, G. (2013). Disability and social media. In J. Hunsinger & T.M. Senft (Eds.), The Social Media Handbook (pp. 126-143): New York: Routledge.
Enang, I., Murray, J., Dougall, N., Wooff, A., Heyman, I., & Aston, E. (2019). Defining and assessing vulnerability within law enforcement and public health organisations: A scoping review. Health & Justice, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40352-019-0083-z
Feldman, D., Contreras, S., Karlin, B., Basolo, V., Matthew, R., Sanders, B., . . . Luke, A. (2016). Communicating flood risk: Looking back and forward at traditional and social media outlets. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 15, 43-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.12.004
Gibson, M. J., & Hayunga, M. (2006). We can do better: Lessons learned for protecting older persons in disasters. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/il/better.pdf
Gill, A. Q., Alam, S. L., & Eustace, J. (2015). Social architecture: An emergency management case study. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 19, 23-40. https://doi.org/10.3127/
Goolsby, R. (2010). Social media as crisis platform: The future of community maps/crisis maps. ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology, 1(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1145/1858948.1858955
Hagar, C. (2013). When disaster strikes, where do you turn? Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://www.fte.org/teachers/teacher-resources/lesson-plans/disasterslessons/lesson- 3-when-disaster-strikes-what-can-government-do/
Hjorth, L., & Kim, K.-H. Y. (2011). The mourning after: A case study of social media in the 3.11 earthquake disaster in Japan. Television & New Media, 12(6), 552-559. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527476411418351
Howard, A., Agllias, K., Bevis, M., & Blakemore, T. (2017). “They’ll tell us when to evacuate”: The experiences and expectations of disaster-related communication in vulnerable groups. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 22, 139-146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.03.002
Hughes, A. L., & Tapia, A. H. (2015). Social media in crisis: When professional responders meet digital volunteers. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 12(3) 679-706. https://doi.org/10.1515/jhsem-2014-0080
IFRC. (2005). World disasters report. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://www.ifrc.org/Global/
IFRC. (2013). World disasters report. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from http://www.ifrc.org/PageFiles/134658/WDR%202013%20complete.pdf
Karanasios, S., Cooper, V., Hayes, P., & Adrot, A. (2019, December 15-18). “An iron hand in a velvet glove’’: The embodiment of the platform logic in the emergency sector. [Paper presentation]. Fortieth International Conference on Information Systems, Munich, Germany. https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2019/
Karanasios, S., Cooper, V.,Adrot, A., & Mercieca, D. (2020, January 8-10). Gatekeepers rather than helpless: An exploratory investigation of senior’s use of information and communication technology in critical settings. [Paper presentation].53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-53), Honolulu, Hawaii. https://aisel.aisnet.org/hicss-53/
Kaufhold, M. A., Gizikis, A., Reuter, C., Habdank, M., & Grinko, M. (2019). Avoiding chaotic use of social media before, during, and after emergencies: Design and evaluation of citizens’ guidelines. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 27(3), 198-213. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-5973.12249
Kaur, H. J., & Kumar, R. (2015, May 15-16). Sentiment analysis from social media in crisis situations. [Paper presentation]. International Conference on Computing, Communication & Automation, Noida, India. https://doi.org/10.1109/CCAA.2015.7148383
Kemp, S. (2021). Digital 2021: Australia. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2021-australia
Kim, J., & Hastak, M. (2018). Social network analysis: Characteristics of online social networks after a disaster. International Journal of Information Management, 38(1), 86-96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2017.08.003
Kraska-Miller, M. (2013). Nonparametric statistics for social and behavioral sciences. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.
Kryvasheyeu, Y., Chen, H., Obradovich, N., Moro, E., Van Hentenryck, P., Fowler, J., & Cebrian, M. (2016). Rapid assessment of disaster damage using social media activity. Science Advances, 2(3). https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1500779
Kulemeka, O. (2014). How people affected by disaster use the Internet: A study of Facebook usage during the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire in Victoria. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies, 18(2), 51-56.
Lukasiewicz, A., Dovers, S., & Eburn, M. (2017). Shared responsibility: The who, what and how. Environmental Hazards, 16(4), 291-313. https://doi.org/10.1080/17477891.2017.1298510
Luna, F. (2014). ‘Vulnerability’, an interesting concept for public health: The case of older persons. Public Health Ethics, 7(2), 180-194. https://doi.org/10.1093/phe/phu012
Luna, F. (2018). Identifying and evaluating layers of vulnerability–a way forward. Developing World Bioethics, 19(2), 86-95. https://doi.org/10.1111/dewb.12206
Luna, S., & Pennock, M. J. (2018). Social media applications and emergency management: A literature review and research agenda. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 28, 565-577. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.01.006
Mann, H. B., & Whitney, D. R. (1947). On a test of whether one of two random variables is stochastically larger than the other. The Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 18(1), 50-60. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2236101
Masozera, M., Bailey, M., & Kerchner, C. (2007). Distribution of impacts of natural disasters across income groups: A case study of New Orleans. Ecological Economics, 63(2-3), 299-306. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2006.06.013
McLennan, B., & Eburn, M. (2015). Exposing hidden-value trade-offs: Sharing wildfire management responsibility between government and citizens. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 24(2), 162-169. https://doi.org/10.1071/WF12201
Mirbabaie, M., Bunker, D., Stieglitz, S., Marx, J., & Ehnis, C. (2020). Social media in times of crisis: Learning from Hurricane Harvey for the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic response. Journal of Information Technology, 35(3), 195-213. https://doi.org/10.1177/0268396220929258
Morris, J. T., Mueller, J. L., & Jones, M. L. (2014). Use of social media during public emergencies by people with disabilities. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 15(5),
Morrissey, S. A., & Reser, J. P. (2007). Natural disasters, climate change and mental health considerations for rural Australia. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 15(2), 120-125. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1584.2007.00865.x
Nakahara, S., & Ichikawa, M. (2013). Mortality in the 2011 Tsunami in Japan. Journal of Epidemiology, 23(1), 70-73. https://doi.org/10.2188/jea.JE20120114
Ogie, R. I., & Pradhan, B. (2019). Natural hazards and social vulnerability of place: The strength-based approach applied to Wollongong, Australia. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 10(3), 404-420. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13753-019-0224-y
OHCHR. (2015). Thematic study on the rights of persons with disabilities under article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://www.refworld.org/docid/
Onder, G., Rezza, G., & Brusaferro, S. (2020). Case-fatality rate and characteristics of patients dying in relation to COVID-19 in Italy. JAMA, 323(18), 1775-1776. https://doi.org/10.1001/
Palen, L., Vieweg, S., & Anderson, K. M. (2011). Supporting “everyday analysts” in safety- and time-critical situations. The Information Society, 27(1), 52-62. https://doi.org/10.1080/
Pan, S. L., & Zhang, S. (2020). From fighting COVID-19 pandemic to tackling sustainable development goals: An opportunity for responsible information systems research. International Journal of Information Management, 55, 102196. https://doi.org/10.1016/
Panagiotopoulos, P., Barnett, J., Bigdeli, A. Z., & Sams, S. (2016). Social media in emergency management: Twitter as a tool for communicating risks to the public. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 111, 86-96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2016.06.010
Pang, N., Karanasios, S., & Anwar, M. (2020). Exploring the information worlds of older persons during disasters. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 71(6), 619-631. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24294
Peary, B. D., Shaw, R., & Takeuchi, Y. (2012). Utilization of social media in the east Japan earthquake and tsunami and its effectiveness. Journal of Natural Disaster Science, 34(1), 3-18. https://doi.org/10.2328/jnds.34.3.
Poblet-Balcell, M., Cooper, V., & Karanasios, S. (2018, November 5-7). Look after your neighbours: Social media and vulnerable groups during extreme weather events. [Paper presentation]. Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM) Asia-Pacific, Wellington, New Zealand. https://www.confer.co.nz/iscramasiapacific2018/conference-proceedings-online/
Qiu, J., Xu, L., Wang, J., & Gu, W. (2020). Mutual influences between message volume and emotion intensity on emerging infectious diseases: An investigation with microblog data. Information & Management, 57(4), 103217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2019.103217
Qu, Y., Wu, P. F., & Wang, X. (2009, January 5-8). Online community response to major disaster: A study of Tianya forum in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. [Paper presentation]. 42nd Hawaii Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS-42), Waikoloa, Hawaii. https://www.computer.org/csdl/proceedings/hicss/2009/12OmNwD1pUh
Reuter, C., Kaufhold, M.-A., Schmid, S., Spielhofer, T., & Hahne, A. S. (2019). The impact of risk cultures: Citizens' perception of social media use in emergencies across Europe. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2019.
Reuter, C., Kaufhold, M.-A., Spahr, F., Spielhofer, T., & Hahne, A. S. (2020). Emergency service staff and social media– a comparative empirical study of the attitude by emergency services staff in Europe in 2014 and 2017. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 46, 101516. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101516
Reuter, C., Marx, A., & Pipek, V. (2012). Crisis management 2.0: Towards a systematization of social software use in crisis situations. International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM), 4(1), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.4018/jiscrm.
Reuter, C., & Spielhofer, T. (2017). Towards social resilience: A quantitative and qualitative survey on citizens' perception of social media in emergencies in Europe. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 121, 168-180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2016.07.038
Schmidt, A., Wolbers, J., Ferguson, J., & Boersma, K. (2017). Are you Ready2Help? Conceptualizing the management of online and onsite volunteer convergence. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-5973.12200
Schmidt, S., & Galea, E. (2013). Recommendations for different types of end-users. In S. Schmidt & E. Galea (Eds.), Human behaviour in emergencies and disasters: A cross- cultural investigation (pp. 11-20). Berlin: Pabst Science Publishers.
Smoyer Tomic, K. E. (2003). Heat wave. JAMA, 289(12), 1573-1574. https://doi.org/10.1001/
Stephenson, D. B., Diaz, H., & Murnane, R. (2008). Definition, diagnosis, and origin of extreme weather and climate events. Climate Extremes and Society, 340, 11-23. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511535840.004
Teo, M., Goonetilleke, A., Ahankoob, A., Deilami, K., & Lawie, M. (2018). Disaster awareness and information seeking behaviour among residents from low socio-economic backgrounds. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 31, 1121-1131. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.09.008
Thomas, D. R. (2006). A general inductive approach for analyzing qualitative evaluation data. American Journal of Evaluation, 27(2), 237-246. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214005283748
UNISDR. (2016). Report of the open-ended intergovernmental expert working group on indicators and terminology relating to disaster risk reduction. Retrieved July 21, 2021 from https://www.preventionweb.net/files/50683_oiewgreportenglish.pdf
Wilcoxon, F. (1945). Individual comparisons by ranking methods. Biometrics Bulletin, 1(6), 80-83. https://doi.org/10.2307/3001968
Wilde, G. J. (1998). Risk homeostasis theory: An overview. Injury prevention, 4(2), 89-91. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ip.4.2.89
Wisner, B. (2004). Assessment of capability and vulnerability. In G Bankoff & G Frerks (Eds.), Mapping Vulnerability: Disasters, Development and People (pp. 183-193). Routledge.
Wisner, B. (2016). Vulnerability as concept, model, metric, and tool. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Natural Hazard Science. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://oxfordre.com/naturalhazardscience/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199389407.001.0001/acrefore-9780199389407-e-25.
Wolbers, J. J., Boersma, F. K., Ferguson, J. E., Mulder, F., & Groenewegen, P. (2016). Two faces of disaster response: Transcending the dichotomy of control and collaboration during the Nepal earthquake relief operation. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 34(4), 419. https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705792/
Zebardast, E. (2013). Constructing a social vulnerability index to earthquake hazards using a hybrid factor analysis and analytic network process (F’ANP) model. Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, 65(3), 1331- 1359. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-012-0412-1
How to Cite
AJIS publishes open-access articles distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Non-Commercial and Attribution License which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and AJIS are credited. All other rights including granting permissions beyond those in the above license remain the property of the author(s).