Social media continue to dramatically affect the way the public views and responds to natural disasters, epidemics, and political crises. Below, is a compiled list of the academic journals and articles that explore the ways that social media is used to connect people during national and international crises. Please vote on your favorite source to move it up or down in the ranked list.
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Nepal experienced a devastating earthquake in 2016, and the hashtag #NepalEarthquake quickly went viral on Twitter. The article "Twitter Issue Response Hashtags as Affordances for Momentary Connectedness" examines the use of the hashtag during the crisis, the messages it was associated with, and the degree to which the hashtag was able to help connect people during the events.
During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, many people used social media to communicate. In the article "Crisis Communication Patterns in Social Media during Hurricane Sandy," the authors examine communication patterns and concerns that developed throughout Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.
"Trusting Facebook in Crisis Situations: The Role of General Use and General Trust Toward Facebook," examines the perceived trustworthiness of Facebook during a crisis. Research for the study involved 340 European Facebook users, questioned about social media during emergency situations. The study found that participants who generally found Facebook to be a trustworthy medium, were also more likely to trust Facebook during a crisis.
Social media has the potential to connect people during disasters. In her article "In a Disaster, Social Media Has the Power to Save Lives," Brenda Wiederhold discusses the role of social media during disasters and the potential for social media to help those affected. Wiederhold explains the ways in which social media can be leveraged by governments and first responders during and after a crisis.
The article "Digital Inequality and Second-Order Disasters: Social Media in the Typhoon Haiyan Recovery," examines economic inequality, social media use, and the effect those factors have on communities during a crisis. By investigating those affected in the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the author seeks to understand the role social media played in positive and negative consequences for different communities.
"Small Stories of the Greek Crisis on Facebook", explores the ways in which social media can be used to share a narrative during a crisis. The author explores how Greek Facebook users shared stories about the Greek debt crisis.
There is little social media research that focuses specifically on social media during war. The article "Information, Opinion, or Rumor? The Role of Twitter During the Post-Electoral Crisis in Côte d’Ivoire," examines the use of twitter during the post electoral crisis in Côte d’Ivoire in 2011, and the role that social media plays during crises, war, and in an area with limited media freedom.
Zika was a popular topic on twitter during the 2015-2016 outbreak. "Crisis Communications in the Age of Social Media: A Network Analysis of Zika-Related Tweets," explores ways in which information about the crisis flowed through the twitter community and the parties involved in spreading news about the crisis. Findings of the study suggest which parties can assist in sharing accurate information to affected communities.
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