Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley recently launched an online resource that gives users insight into the experiences of modern migrants and refugees. The Digital Refuge website gathers thousands of social media posts from refugee camps and migrant communities in Greece and other European countries to share these individuals’ common hopes and concerns. The information is presented via interactive graphs and maps that allow users to track data across time and locations and even compare refugee posts and sentiments with official reports and news sources.
Law professor Katerina Linos, JD, PhD, spearheaded the project. She believes that social media is a critical asset for many of the migrants who have fled to Europe in recent years due to conflicts in the Middle East. It lets them connect with distant loved ones and, by joining refugee social media groups and forums, share real-time information on migration policies, job opportunities, and more, Linos explains.
She says she hopes journalists, educators, and others will use the Digital Refuge website to understand the plight of those in the middle of the modern refugee crisis.
Future plans for the project include translating the website into Greek, Arabic, and Farsi so that migrants and host countries can better communicate with one another. For more information, visit digitalrefuge.berkeley.edu.
Countries mentioned in Facebook Posts and MIPEX Scores
Camp Locations – Nightlights Map
Facebook Posts by General Sentiment