Author Topic: Social Media vs. Ebola  (Read 420 times)

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Offline Ultimate Paragon

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Social Media vs. Ebola
« on: October 27, 2014, 05:58:30 pm »
https://www.yahoo.com/tech/social-media-activity-and-other-online-data-become-101089124839.html

Quote
Nine days before Ebola was declared an epidemic, a group of researchers and computer scientists in Boston spotted the hemorrhagic fever beginning to spread in Guinea.

By scouring the Internet for clues from social media, local news reports and other available online data, the algorithm developed by HealthMap had an early picture of the deadly disease moving across West Africa.

"Official agencies tend to be more cautious about these announcements, so public communication tends to lag," said Clark Freifeld, who co-founded HealthMap in 2006 at Boston Children’s Hospital.

"We see this as our role to get that information out there quickly even though it may not be validated at the same level as official announcements."

It is impossible to know whether earlier detection may have helped contain the spread of Ebola, but many scientists say this type of “big data” approach can be useful in curbing epidemics.

The Internet is truly wonderful, isn't it?