On 22 May Patrick Meier visited the University of Sheffield and gave a talk on Digital Humanitarians which was hosted by the Visual Social Media Lab, the Digital Society Network and the Sheffield Institute for International Development.
Patrick’s talk focused on the use of big data and social media during humanitarian crises including the Haiti and Nepal earthquakes of recent years. He discussed a number of key issues surrounding digital humanitarians, which is emerging as an area of cross disciplinary research. One particularly important and topical issue is that of image verification, which resonates with an area of the Visual Social Media Lab’s work.
In society today many images get shared on social media, but why do false images get shared and how does this cause rumours to spread? Patrick argues there is a need for impact evaluations and secondary research into images on social media – a topic which students may potentially be interested in for dissertations or theses.
After his talk, Patrick was interviewed by Dr Farida Vis from the Information School and discussed some of these issues in more depth. The interview is available to listen to on iTunesU now.