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Kent State researchers get a grant to study social media and disasters
Professor says twitter may communicate alerts faster than traditional media

Lyndsey Schley
Researchers will be taking and analyzing tweets on disasters.
Courtesy of Andrew Mager/Flickr
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Kent State University researchers have received a grant to study how people react to disaster alerts over social media.

Geography professor Jay Lee and his team will use the $300,000 National Science Foundation grant to create programs to sort store and interpret tweets about disasters.

Lee says he hopes they can better understand how information is disseminated through social media so policy makers can use it more effectively.

LISTEN: Lee on social media study

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"A great number of us have smart phones and many of us are on one or more social media, so this is turning out to be more possibly effective than the traditional broadcasting media such as radio or television," Lee says.

Lee says researchers will also look at how discussion of political issues spreads.

The study is expected to run for four years. Kent State will collaborate with San Diego State University and the University of Arkansas on the project. 

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