Volume 58, Number 1, January - March 2023
|Page(s)||11 - 18|
|Published online||24 February 2023|
Could virtual volunteerism enhance information resilience in a nuclear emergency? The potential role of disaster knowledge workers and virtual emergent groups
University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland
2 Emergency Services Academy Finland, Kuopio, Finland
3 Regional State Administrative Agency for Western and Inland Finland, Vaasa, Finland
4 Finnish Defence Forces, Säkylä, Finland
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 4 January 2023
Informal volunteerism in its various forms is on the rise in the safety and security arena. This study focuses on a new mode of informal volunteerism, virtual volunteerism. The study uses the complex context of a nuclear emergency to explore (1) the extent to which informal volunteerism, in the form of virtual volunteerism, can develop information resilience and (2) the problems and challenges involved. The study relies on interview data gathered from 18 Finnish public authorities and NGO actors working in expert or managerial positions connected to nuclear emergency response. The study results suggest that informal virtual volunteerism could play a role in the development of information resilience in the society. However, as suggested in previous studies, virtual volunteerism could be a double-edged sword. There is a real risk of mis- and disinformation because of the volatile times in which we live. The identified risk sparked a debate on the inclusion and exclusion of unaffiliated disaster knowledge workers and virtual emergent groups in nuclear emergency preparedness, response, and recovery.
Key words: nuclear emergencies / information resilience / informal volunteerism / virtual volunteerism / disaster knowledge workers / virtual emergent groups
© SFRP, 2023
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