Introduction: The extensive use of social media in modern life redefines social interaction and communication. Communication plays an important role in mitigating, or exacerbating, the psychological and behavioral responses to critical incidents and disasters. As recent disasters demonstrated, people tend to converge to social media during and following emergencies. Authorities can then use this media and other computational methods to gain insights from the public, mainly to enhance situational awareness, but also to improve their communication with the public and public adherence to instructions.
Methods: The current review presents a conceptual framework for studying psychological aspects of crisis and risk communication using the social media through social computing.
Results: Advanced analytical tools can be integrated in the processes and objectives of crisis communication. The availability of the computational techniques can improve communication with the public by a process of Hyper-Targeted Crisis Communication.
Discussion: The review suggests that using advanced computational tools for target-audience profiling and linguistic matching in social media, can facilitate more sensitive and personalized emergency communication.