Christian Long

Erik Hersman: Reporting Crisis via Texting

In TED Talks on April 25, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Reflection by HALEY M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Erik Hersman:  Reporting Crisis via Texting

Although I think Erik Hersman is a good speaker, I was a little lost while watching this video.

It seems that he was talking about how people in Africa started a group where anyone that had a cell phone could send in events that were occurring around them through text messaging. People who were watching things happen are they were actually happening and share the real story. Also later on, many people from all over were joining this group, which is pretty cool. I think it started out as a good idea and many people were contributing to it. Many people were participating sending in texts about riots, deaths, or anything that was happening in the community.

Later, it maybe turned into something that people weren’t serious about. Or perhaps, they were sending in false statements. Maybe people weren’t trying to send in texts just to send them in, but they had their facts wrong. They weren’t meaning any harm, but were giving people the wrong information.

I am guessing his purpose was trying to avoid people from saying things that aren’t true.

For example, when he mentions how they want to create a crowdsourced filter. They want to give credit to the people who are saying things that are actually true and not give credit for those who are wrong. And for the people who send in things that aren’t exactly true, people will know about it and not believe them. Or maybe the purpose of this is too many people are sending in reports. Maybe, they have too many problems and they don’t know which ones to help or do something about. How do we know which ones are the ones actually calling for help?

I hope that this project will continue to benefit the community.


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