Twitter and Natural Disasters

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1 Introduction  Online social media (OSM) are Internet sites for people to interact freely, sharing their thoughts and engaging in a conversation, using words, audio, pictures and videos. These services allow individuals, organizations and governments to create, exchange content and spreading information with large number of people without geographical constraints. It appear in many forms including blogs and microblogs, wikis, social networks, virtual words, forums and message boards, media-sharing sites and social bookmarking. There are numbers of well-known sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, Reddit, Flickr, Instagram and many more. On March 11, 2011, the most powerful earthquake hit Tohoku region with magnitude 9.0, unleashing catastrophic situation in Japan, which killed more than 18,000 people [1]. Just after the earthquake, there were interruption on electricity, water supply and computer networking [2]. The use of email and call using mobile phone are unavailable due to interruption of telecommunication links and access control. However, OSM services using 3G mobile internet data were accessible. In disaster situation, OSM are helpful and growing in popularity as information sources and communication channel with family and friends to exchange about each other safety condition [3]. Twitter, Facebook and Mixi are top three listed forms of social media being used during and after the Great East Japan Earthquake 2011 [3][4]. A survey on social media used after the earthquake indicates that most users are more interested to use Twitter rather than Mixi and Facebook, with 63.9 percent of them agree Twitter help them to gather information about the disaster [4]. The purpose of this paper is... ... middle of paper ... ...Special Workshop on Internet and Disasters (SWID '11), ACM, New York, Article 3, (2011). [16] Tanaka, Y., and Sakamoto, Y., Matsuka, T., “Transmission of Rumor and Criticism in Twitter after the Great Japan Earthquake”, Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, p. 2387 (2012). [17] Mukai, M., “Research on a Model for Decision Making in Retweet which caused Spreading of False Rumor in Emergencies”, Master thesis, Graduate School of Software and Information Science, Iwate Prefectural University (2012). [In Japanese] [18] Mukai, M., Nishioka, D., Saito, Y., Murayama, Y., “A study on a retweet model for a guideline for a use of Twitter in Emergencies”, The 30th Symposium on Cryptography and Information Security (SCIS 2013), (2013). [In Japanese] [19] “Definition of action in English”. Retrieved from: [Date accessed: 2013/12/15]
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