The Effects of Social Media on Public Emergency Response Mechanisms in Sierra Leone

By: Ing Ibrahim Abdulai Sawaneh


The use of social media in a public emergency is dated back to the terrorist attacks (2001) in the United States. Since then, it is has been used to effectively manage critical happenings in public emergency or disaster events and also for managing future public emergencies. Unfortunately, the underdeveloped countries are far behind in the race to enhance infrastructures that would mitigate or avert critical events from happening.
The effects of social media are keyed to public emergencies as it allows the instant flow of communication to a broader population, helps government or organizations locate those affected by the disaster, and to help further those organizations to manage the available resources allocated to that public emergencies effectively. It can be exploiting the appropriate social media tools focusing on the use of ICT before, during, or after the emergency crisis. Furthermore, the exponential increase in fake news of modern times is a concern for government and organizations handling the public emergency crisis. The politicization of national issues is another limitation, as they help to spread fake news and unfounded rumors to score political gain during a public emergency crisis. The research concludes that social media is a valuable tool to mitigate or avert public emergency if there are enhanced infrastructures backed with strong laws that would punish fake news/rumors perpetrators and future potentials of social media.

Keywords: Public Emergency, Fake News, Social Media.

About the Author

Ing. Ibrahim Abdulai Sawaneh, a lecturer at the Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology (EBKUST) since September 2019. Ing. Sawaneh was the former Director of Academic Affairs of the Institute of Advanced Management and Technology (IAMTECH) from July 2017 to May 2019. He is also the Director, Quality Assurance and Ambassador to Wuhan University of Technolgy (WUT) for the Institute of Advanced Management and Technology (IAMTECH).
Ing. Ibrahim Abdulai Sawaneh has double Masters, Master of Engineering in Computer Science and Technology at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, and Master of Science in Human Resource Management from the Professional Global Training Institute in the United Kingdom. He acquired his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Institute of Advanced Management and Technology (IAMTECH) – Sierra Leone.
Ing. Sawaneh is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Management Science and Engineering, majoring in Public Security and Emergency Management at the Wuhan University of Technology in Wuhan, P.R China. Also, he is a graduating Ph.D. student in Computer Science from the Atlantic International University in the U.S in the Fall of 2021.
Ing. Ibrahim Abdulai Sawaneh is the current Wuhan University Country Ambassador for Sierra Leone. He is charged with the responsibility to recruit Sierra Leonean Students for the Chinese Government Scholarship (CSC & MOFCOM) for Wuhan University of Technology (WUT).
Ing. Sawaneh is a writer, humanitarian, and philanthropist person, and has published several academic articles and authored few textbooks.

Ing Ibrahim Abdulai Sawaneh

Ing Ibrahim Abdulai Sawaneh

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