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Microblogging to share crisis information
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|Title: ||Microblogging to share crisis information|
|Authors: ||Heverin, Thomas|
|Issue Date: ||15-Apr-2010 |
|Series/Report no.: ||IST Research Day 2010 posters|
|Abstract: ||The purpose of our research project is to examine how Twitter, the most popular microblogging site, was used for information dissemination during a violent crisis. Previous research has focused on the use of Twitter as an information-sharing resource during natural crises. A 2009 multiple police-officer shooting that took place in the Seattle-Tacoma, Washington area is used as a case study. During this time, citizens, news media, and other organizations turned to Twitter as one way to send messages about the crisis.
Twitter allows users to send messages of up to 140 characters in length. The messages often contain URLs linking to websites, photos, files, and multimedia resources. We collected 6013 publicly available Twitter messages focused on the crisis. The messages were qualitatively coded as information-related, opinion-related, technology-related, emotion-related and action-related. Author characteristics, such as organizational affiliation and geographic location, were also analyzed. We found that there were 1668 unique authors of the 6013 messages. The vast majority (91.5%) of the authors were citizens with no organizational affiliation. We also found that 79% of the messages contained information-related content (75% of the messages contained information-sharing content and 4% contained information-seeking content). Citizens shared information about police activities, sightings of the suspect, criminal history of the suspect, and descriptions of the suspect. Twitter was also used to share opinion-related content (16.8% of messages) and, to a lesser extent, to share technology-related content (3.8%), emotion-related content (3.7%), and action-related content (0.9%).
During the violent crisis in the Seattle-Tacoma area, we found that Twitter became one method for citizens to share crisis information. An investigation is in progress to analyze the types of information transmitted, the sources of the information, and the temporal trends of the information shared. Our research will enrich our understanding of how citizens use social media during crises.|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Day Posters (IST)|
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