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How Crowdsourcing Can Aid Disaster Relief Efforts: A TEDx Talk
© Image: Shutterstock / Anton Oparin

How Crowdsourcing Can Aid Disaster Relief Efforts: A TEDx Talk

As individuals become more adept at using social media platforms like Twitter, new applications are emerging.

One innovative use for Twitter, for instance, is measuring the size of crowds in a protest or political rally. Another is using the microblogging platform for natural disaster damage assessment, as the Qatar Foundation's Patrick Meier explains in a recent TEDx Talk.

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One of the main problems with social media, however, is the spread of false information, which could be devastating in a disaster – a false tweet might not only lead firefighters away from a person in danger, but it could also guide them into harm.

Meier believes that crowdsourcing can be used to verify information spread through social media, and he’s working on a platform called Verily to test out his hypothesis.

“[Verily] will leverage this idea of very few degrees of separation between all of us,” Meier says. “Let’s crowdsource the search for truth, let’s crowdsource verification.”

To find out more about the platform and what it might look like, check out these slides from Carlos Castillo, one of Meier’s colleagues, and be sure to watch Meier’s TEDx Talk below.

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