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SMS Code of Conduct

18 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 24 December 2013

Mobile phones have helped to save lives and locate the injured trapped under rubble in the aftermath of typhoons and earthquakes. The work of organisations such as Frontline SMS and Ushahidi has demonstrated the potential for simple tools like mobile phones, SMS and mobile phone platforms to help in the aftermath of a disaster. But since the Haiti earthquake the number of digital volunteers has grown enormously. Digital humanitarians are increasingly entering a crowded arena, and it has been suggested that these well-meaning volunteers, sometimes monitoring and sending texts or tweets for example, complicate the work of established emergency and relief agencies. In a special edition of the technology programme, Click examines the evolution of the digital disaster response. Do digital volunteers help or hinder relief efforts after a disaster, and is there a need for a code of conduct?

(Caption: Residents clear debris near the shoreline on 23 November, 2013 in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines, Credit: Getty Images)


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