On 1 March, 2015 a woman, who was said to have tested positive for A (H1N1) virus, popularly known as swine flu, died at Model Hospital in the Kathmandu on Saturday night. After the news broke out, thousands of tweets, facebook status and google plus posts with dozens of hashtags were on the internet. Thanks to the humanitarian concern by national and international community. But it would have been synergetic if we had some standards regarding the post and use of hashtags. Imagine how much information would have been gathered with thousands of multimedia posted frequently on the internet. So, let’s focus regarding the use of hashtags during disasters that are suitable for Nepal.
The hashtags, we are going to propose, will be of internationally recognized standard. Our base is the OCHA hashtags for emergencies by Roxanne Moore and Andrej Verity. First of all let’s have a look to the some tweets used to indicate swine flu in Nepal:
- Two more swine flu patients confirmed in Chitwan http://es/1WOlgX via @setopati (Setopati @setopati Mar 2)
- #Nepal: Swine flu scare grips people across country (myRepública@RepublicaNepal 4 Mar)
- swine flu that serious?Why is the media terrorising the public?#swineflu #roleofmedia #nepal #havoc (Sailendra@bicyclesailen 4 Mar)
- #H1N1 #SWINE #FLU #NEPAL http://me/7fHxploJl(Lava Kafle @lkafle 2 Mar)
- “@iShzz: जानी राखे राम्रो #Nepal #SwineFlu #swineflufear #H1N1 #Epidemic #health #people #lifestyle” (उम!कान्त ®@imakanta Mar 2)-image attached
- #Namaste=splicing two palms and putting vertically in the front part of head = #respect #Nepal #style #Health #awareness #Now #SwineFlu (Dinesh Karki@nepalidentist Feb 28)
We can find here varities of hashtags , #swineflu, #swine #flu, #SwineFlu #Nepal, #awareness, H1N1 etc. These all indicates the same, the swine flu epidemic. These are informative and carries serious concern but if these tweets have been geotagged and properly hashtagged, the analytics would have been easy. We can just imagine another brick to the big data- data sets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate.
Also, please have a look to these tweets too:
- #SwineFlu claims 34 more lives across the country today; total death toll gone up to 1,075 (All India Radio News@airnewsalerts Mar 1)
- #Swineflu affects over 19000 lives – The Hindu : http://ly/1E4Aa22 (Live H1N1 @live_h1n1 Mar 1)
- One dies of swine flu in #Kathmandu, 43 across country infected with the virus. | http://gl/aiGKLK (myRepública@RepublicaNepal Mar 2)
These tweets are authentic but how can one know where is the tweet from. One may mislead the information about the death toll of 1,075 in Nepal instead of India because there’s nowhere indicated where it’s from or may remain inactive due to lack of spatial information. Similarly, tweet 3 may have indicated the death by swine flu in India, reported from Kathmandu.
So, summing up for conclusion, let’s have some hashtags for swine flu in Nepal:
- Swine flu in Nepal : #SwineFluNp (i.e. disaster name + country code)
Example: How could the government be so inactive even knowing swine flu epidemic #SwineFluNp
- Public response for swine flu in Nepal: #SwineFluResponseNp (disaster name + response + country code)
Example: My neighbor’s whole family is having a cold and are sick. They need some help #SwineFluResponseNp
- Need during swine flu in Nepal : #SwineFluNeedNp (disaster name + need + country code)
Example: Lacking health facilities #SwineFluNeedNp
- Swine flu ranging in Nepal and India: #SwineFluNpIn (disaster name + first geographic region code + second geographic region code + … )
Example: Swine flu health checkup post at Rakshowl, Nepal India border #SwineFluNpIn
- Safe from swine flu : #SafeSwineFlu (disaster name + safe)
Example: Chitwan is out of danger #SwineFluSafe
These hashtags will be a better way of communication through twitter and other social media posts. Moreover, it also makes the humanitarian action simplified. But it will be helpful only when location is attached to it. So, never forget geo-tagging your post.