How Information Flows During Emergencies

In this article from MIT Technology Review, authors explore how mobile phone data can shed light on the behaviors of individuals during an emergency. Researchers obtained the mobile phone records of 10 million people over four years and correlated dates with days when an emergency happened. They learned that during emergency situations, there is an immediate spike in mobile phone usage as people involved in the situation (named the “first group”) call or text their family and friends (“second group”) to share what is happening. However, researchers were surprised to find that once information has been shared about the situation, the second group is more likely to contact the first group again for more details than to disseminate the information they already have to others. Study authors say that the results have “implications for the way information spreads during extraordinary events and may influence the way authorities need to respond in emergencies.”

Read the article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *