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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

SwiftRiver: “Making Sense Of The Web During A Crisis”

July 20th, 2010 · No Comments

BBC News has an interesting article “Making Sense Of The Web During A Crisis,” about SwiftRiver, an open source software platform that uses algorithms and crowdsourcing to validate and filter news. It is being developed by a partnership including Ushahidi and will be released in beta version later this summer.

According to the SwiftRiver website:

User-generated content is becoming an increasingly important source of information during emergency events while traditional media continues to play a pivotal role in documenting events as they unfold. These trends are expected to continue well into the future. The challenge, then, becomes filtering this growing torrent of information. There is an apparent tradeoff between crowdsourcing (opening the floodgates) and validation (the filter). One of the strengths of crowdsourcing is the ability to collect a high volume of information from highly diverse channels like Twitter, email, news sites, blogs, and SMS.

SwiftRiver acts as the verifying filter for these different channels and is possible precisely because of the volume of information available from these sources. The more information generated, the more the community interacts with it, and the easier it becomes to identify mutually trusted sources.

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Tags: International · Preparedness 2.0

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