The internet is getting good at tracking deadly viruses, once they emerge. Today’s news is full of interactive charts and infographics charting the spread of swine flu, while flu discussion is today’s first (and second) most popular topic on Twitter. There has already been a minor backlash, with respected journalist Evgeny Morozov over at Foreign Policy writing that swine flu’s infection of Twitter is likely to confuse, rather than inform. But what if the entire approach of relying on the internet to detect, predict and report on pandemics is wrong?
Stopping swine flu: the need for deep viral mining
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