New social media (Facebook/twitter/blogs) have recently emerged as playing a significant role in information flows in some countries of conflict, when used by individuals and organisations for micropublishing about incidents of violence. These reports can be searched for and collected. Increasingly, press and media organisations are incorporating social media outputs into their own data collection and dissemination processes.
An exponential growth in the use of social media for micropublishing has occurred and has been particularly central to the conflicts arising from the Arab Spring. Such conflicts have been characterised by restrictions on the free movement of journalists and other data-gatherers (e.g. human rights monitors) on the ground, meaning that social media have become a critical means for informants to get data out of the conflict zone. Those that use social media are aware of the advantages and limitations of this kind of information, for example that documents derive from different individuals so can be highly variable in content and quality.
THE RANGE OF SOURCES IN CASUALTY RECORDING, p. 17