In Search of the Bigger Picture : The Emergent Role of On-Line Photo Sharing in Times of Disaster

  • Liu S
  • Palen L
  • Sutton J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Eyewitness photography is increasingly playing a more significant role in disaster response and recovery efforts. This research elaborates on the ways in which members of the public participate during times of disaster by closely examining the evolving role of a prominent photo-sharing website, Flickr, in events that have occurred since its launch in February 2004. We discuss features of Flickrs emerging evolutionary growth as a community forum for disaster-related grassroots activity based on the findings from our qualitative study of 29 groups across six disasters over Flickrs nearly three-year lifespan. Our findings discuss efforts toward the development of norms that attempt to guide the nature of social practice around photographic content during disaster response and recovery efforts.

Author-supplied keywords

  • citizen journalism
  • convergence
  • crisis informatics
  • disaster studies
  • flickr
  • photo sharing
  • social media

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Authors

  • Sophia B Liu

  • Leysia Palen

  • Jeannette Sutton

  • Amanda L Hughes

  • Sarah Vieweg

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