Priceless Tweets! A study on twitter messages A study on twitter messages posted during crisis: Black Saturday. d Suku Sinnappan Cathy Farrel y Elizabeth StewartSwinburne University of Technology # Locusts # Fire # Fire # Flood
Outline• Background• Objectives• Motivation• Significance• Literature and Methodology Literature and Methodology• Analysis and Discussion• Future research
Background• Web 2.0 as a channel for communication• 2009 3 billion tweets worldwide 2009 ‐ 3 billion tweets worldwide• 9000 tweets a minute (O’Brien 2009) • Lightweight (140 char), crowdsourcing • Twitter has been used for numerous purposes Twitter has been used for numerous purposes – Politics, PR, marketing, education, Personal, customer relationship, official, crisis etc t l ti hi ffi i l i i t
Objectives• Web 2.0 has not been used to effectively g p p communicate during crisis despite its potential in Australia• Can Twitter help and How? Can Twitter help and How?• What kind of information is tweeted during crisis in Australia?• Can Twitter be used an alternative channel for Can Twitter be used an alternative channel for communication during crisis?
Motivation• There are few motivations leading up to the y study – Web 2.0 used for official info dissemination but not communication despite huge public uptake not communication despite huge public uptake – The failure of traditional communication channels during crisis during crisis – Inadequate ground level information during crisis – Valuable information untapped from Web 2.0
Significance• An alternative communicate channel (both y) g ways) for large scale disaster• Reporting valuable information effectively (public and official communication) (public and official communication)• Potential reduction in casualties or damage
Literature• T itt b t t diti Twitter beats traditional media to deliver up to date l di t d li t d t information• Iran election, Mumbai Terrorist, Bangkok Red Shirt protest, , , g p , Gaza Flotilla. Including yesterday’s student hostage crisis at Marinette, Wisconsin• Sichuan earthquake (Gabarain 2008) Californian fires Sichuan earthquake (Gabarain, 2008), Californian fires (Wagner, 2008, Sutton Et al, 2008), New England Ice Storm (Ragan, 2009), Gulf of Mexico Hurricane (Janega, 2008), Cyclone Nagris i M C l N i in Myanmar (Palatino, 2008) and Mississippi (P l ti 2008) d Mi i i i Hurricane (Brown, 2009), Red River Flood (Starbird et al. 2010), Mass emergency (Hughes et al. 2009), Haiti (Palen et al. 2010), Seattle Violent Crisis (Herevin and Zach, 2010).
Methodology• Gather tweets during crisis to analyse• 2009 Victoria bush fires using ‘fires’ as used by 2009 Victoria bush fires using fires as used by Herevin and Zach (2010)• N d d f Needed to form categories to make sense of i k f the tweets – used Namaan et al (2010) as base• 1684 tweets between 6nd – 14th Feb 2009 1684 tweets between 6 Feb, 2009• 705 unique users
Analysis and Discussion (1/7) Analysis and Discussion (1/7) No. of• Top 10 (as shown) No. User Name No. of Followers (as Tweets of 19 July• Only 2 official Only 2 official 2010)) 1 774melbourne 63 13,845 channels 2 geehall1 49 655 3 retrogrrl 29 1,223 ,• E Example of official 4 l f ffi i l SassyCupcakes 20 148 5 tellyworth 20 91 dissemination 6 duncanriley 19 8,525 , 7 problogger 19 100,859• Not reported in 8 stephenedgar 18 1,331 royal commission 9 royal commission 10 wolfcat 18 2,585 3,996 abcnewsMelbrne 16
Analysis and Discussion (2/7) Analysis and Discussion (2/7)• Validating data collected against another crisis ( g (Uganda pub bombing after world cup 2010) p g p ) • Tweets were categorised by batches of 100s based on Namaan et al while referring to based on Namaan et al while referring to Sutton et al. 2008, Hughes et al. 2009, Heverin and Zach, 2010. Heverin and Zach 2010
Analysis and Discussion (3/7)• * Naaman et al. (# 6‐13)• Opinions/Complaints and No. Categories of tweets No. of tweets Statements/Random 1 Web Li k W b Links to maps, websites, other resources, bi h 400 Thoughts were merged as 2 Geographical data i.e. location, name of a place 730 they were inapplicable• Each tweet was allowed to Other factual description i.e. Time, Figure, Cardinal directions, Other organisations 3 (formal names), types of crisis (flood, fire, tsunami etc), communication outlets 875 be coded into more than 1 (radio, TV, telephone), climate related information category due to information Suggestions, request followers to act, actionable information, and current status• Ave 1.98 categories, 4 g , 4 update 264 iterations 5 Seeking information, help or answers 119• 2 dropped (#12 ,#13), new 6* Statements or random thoughts – a comment by the user on a situation 331 ( (#1‐#5)) 7* Me M now – current status about the user i.e. ‘tired and upset’ t t t b t th i ‘ti d d t’ 218• Tweets that were less 8* Presence maintenance – instant display of user existence i.e. ‘I’m backkkk’ 3 informative (# 7,8,11) were 9* Other’s status – informing followers about other’s situation 2 miniscule as compared to miniscule as compared to Communication with Followers – reply tweets, forwarding tweets, linking others in 10* 491 80% reported by Namaan et a message al ‐ while 65% were 11* Self promotion i.e. ‘Check out my blog’ 1 informative 12 12* Anecdote me – an exciting-funny incident about the user 0• Tweets need to be decoded 13* Anecdote others - an exciting-funny incident about others 0 in context
Analysis and Discussion (4/7) Analysis and Discussion (4/7)• Objective 2 – could Twitter be used during times of crisis as an alternative Objective 2 could Twitter be used during times of crisis as an alternative communication channel?• 12% carried links ‐ Google maps, Country Fire Authority updates, Weatherzone.com, Bureau of Meteorology, ABC.net.au, Weatherzone com Bureau of Meteorology ABC net au Incidentalert.com.au, TheAge.com.au and social sites such as Flickr and Photobucket.• 22% had Geo‐location data ‐ “Ah, too late. Yackandanda is under alert, , , and the Beechworth fires are heading south‐east. 100+ homes gone, 14+ dead. #bushfires”. • 25% had rich ground level information– – “fires in narre north, two streets away from my house. shit.” – “ADSL has been down all afternoon, Sky was surreal bronze colour, due to fires” – “t “two routes out of Yea are closed and the other two lead towards other fires” t t fY l d d th th t l d t d th fi ” – “Fighting fires !”
Analysis and Discussion (5/7) Analysis and Discussion (5/7)• O Operationalising the tweets using ‘#’ to increase search ti li i th t t i ‘#’ t i h ability. Eg Palen et al (2010) Haiti project (EPIC)‐ – #name (name), #name (name), – #loc (location) , – #num (amount or capacity), – #contact (email, phone, link, other) or #con, – #photo (link to photo), – #source (source of info) or #src, #status (e.g., open, closed, #source (source of info) or #src #status (e g open closed injured, etc.), – #date (date or time), – #info (other information).• Contextualise the # terms to suit disaster and region
Analysis and Discussion (6/7) Analysis and Discussion (6/7)• F For eg – – “Anyone have news on whether the fires are near Healesville?” – “#help Anyone have news on whether the #crisis fires are near #loc Healesville?”. H l ill ?”• 5% had direct actionable data ‐ “@royrussel ABC Gippsland Transmitter burned by fires tune into 531AM , 828AM, 104.7FM, 105.5FM or 90.7FM for local update ‐ @774Melbourne”, 105 5FM 90 7FM f l l d t @774M lb ”• 119 tweets were seeking for information/ assistance (similar to phone calls to SES/CFA/Police) – “Im looking after an evacu‐cat from Warburton to help out @firstdogonmoon s friend. Bush fires affect pets too!” – “Anyone have news on whether the fires are near Healesville?” – ” Does anyone know if the fires touched Smiths Gully? Worried about an ex‐colleague.”
Analysis and Discussion (7/7) Analysis and Discussion (7/7)– Tweets also prove that Twitter was used for crisis communication during the bushfires by – public and state authorities : • “CFA urges those not directly affected by the Vic fires to get info from ABC Melbourne http://bit.ly/MsGj (expand) rather than the CFA site”– A way forward will be to deploy bots to detect f d ill b d l b d searchable # tags, aggregate information with geo‐ location tag and channel info by using web 2.0 l i d h li f b i b20 itself . This offers an organic solution to users.
Future Research Future Research• Th There are many ways to extend the current work d h k • Exploring ways to aggregate information (both direction) • Ed Educating both public and local authorities about Web 2.0 i b h bli d l l h ii b W b20 communication (device and software) • Involving other web 2 0 tools – Facebook Myspace Orkut Involving other web 2.0 tools Facebook, Myspace, Orkut etc • Applying the same study to flood, hurricane, terrorist, earth quakes, or other natural disasters such locust attacks. • Validating the quality of information i e spam and info Validating the quality of information i.e. spam and info accuracy (eg. Flood info ABC invalid link)