RESCUE research on social media use in emergencies

RESCUE at major international media conference

by evagold

Project coordinator and researcher in RESCUE, Harald Hornmoen, and RESCUE researcher Elsebeth Frey, recently presented papers in the crisis communication sessions at the international media research conference IAMCR.

The conference was held in Leicester, England, during the last days of July 2016. Hornmoen presented a paper he has written together with RESCUE member Colin McInnes: “Dialogical disguise? Crisis authorities’ use of social media in the UK and Norway during the 2014-15 West African Ebola outbreak”. Frey presented her paper: “Do you tweet when your friends are getting shot?” Victims’ experiences with and perspectives on use of social media during a terror attack”.

Both presentations were well received and triggered interesting discussions, whether about ethical challenges when interviewing victims of a terrorist attack, or about health authorities’ monitoring of and engagement with user’s tweets and queries during the Ebola outbreak.

Read more 0 comments

Visualizing Networks in WP3

by evagold

The Austrian team involved in work package 3 (WP3) in the RESCUE project recently was supported by visiting scholar Yogita KUCHANKAR from IIT Kanpur.

One way to investigate social media use in emergencies is to make use of digital methods and visual analytics techniques. This is one of the strategies used in the RESCUE project. Our colleague Yogita is in Austria for a research intern in communication and journalism, but has a background in engineering and computer science. This led to a fruitful collaboration in investigating the communication flow in the case of the 2013 floods in Austria for WP3, especially concerning the involved networks on social media and Facebook in particular.


The newsfeed of any user on Facebook mainly shows two types of information – one is the shared status updates and information from their friends and the other is the news from the liked public pages. Thus, one of the most effective ways to study the information flow on social networking sites is by extracting and examining a network of the pages established. These pages – set up by a number of nonprofit organisations, fire brigades, volunteer organisations, media houses, etc. – post or not post information during emergency situations. An efficient way to track the public flow of information is thus by studying the network formed by these pages.

Read more 0 comments

Poster presentation at TU Dresden

by evagold

@evagoldgruber #reda15 #REDA2015 #ethicalissues #communication #socialmedia #emergencysituation — Iva Nenadic (@IvaLitre) September 8, 2015

Eva Goldgruber participated in the Summer School REDA -Research Ethics in the
Digital Age
on the topic of Ethics for the Social Sciences and Humanities in Times of Mediatization and Digitization hosted by the School of Humunities and Social Sciences of Technische Universität Dreseden, Germany from September 6th – 12th, 2015.

She contributed to the session “Just because it’s accessible, is it also ethical? by presenting a scientifitc poster about our investigation of online communication during emergency situations and reflected challenges and solutions in integrating ethical dimensions when studying the use of social media in our three different cases.

The RESCUE project arouse the participants interest and a lot of conversations took place, also with persons contucting similar research (e.g. the 2013 floodings in Dresden).

The summer school was funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state government, the participants were selected in a peer-review process due to the excellent research.





Read more 0 comments

RESCUE presentation at ECREA pre-conference in Lisboa

by evagold

In the context of the RESCUE Project the presentation “Identifying criteria for ideal crisis communication through social media” was held at the  ECREA pre-conference in Lisboa on 11 November 2014.

Harald Hornmoen gave an introduction to the Project and the work packages. Have a look at the conference presentation:

Read more 0 comments