Ethical, legal and social considerations surrounding the use of Facebook groups during Hurricane Irma in Cuba

Robin Batard 1, 2, 3 Caroline Rizza 2, 3 Aurelie Montarnal 1 Frederick Benaben 1
3 SID - Sociologie Information-Communication Design
I3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217) - Institut interdisciplinaire de l’innovation
Abstract : While Hurricane Irma struck the Cuban Southern coasts, thousands of tourists were evacuated from this area and relocated in the Varadero peninsula. In a couple of days, all means for families and friends to connect with the tourists were down, leaving them without any information about the on-site situation. This paper focuses on the volunteer citizens’ initiative to take advantage of social media, to enhance their own situational awareness in Varadero area, supporting fellow citizens to identify and localize their relatives. In particular, two Facebook groups that were created at the time are analyzed and their messages’ content and objectives categorized. We will show that once more, social media has constituted opportunities for citizens to engage a specific response to the crisis, but at the same time has raised specific ethical and social issues. On one hand, social media has constituted a virtual space of care supporting self-help and psychological help between citizens, fostering at the same time community resilience. On the other hand, its use has also put at stake governance, responsibility, equity and privacy principles.
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Robin Batard, Caroline Rizza, Aurelie Montarnal, Frederick Benaben. Ethical, legal and social considerations surrounding the use of Facebook groups during Hurricane Irma in Cuba. ISCRAM 2018 - 15th International conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM, May 2018, Rochester, United States. p.268-275. ⟨hal-01853225⟩

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