Twitter Usage in Indonesia
62 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2016
Date Written: December 21, 2015
Social media is playing a growing role in disaster management and response. Expectations are that such media can be critical for sending alerts, identifying critical needs, and focusing response. However, for social media to be used in that way, it will be necessary to understand how social media is used during normal, i.e., non-disaster periods. Herein we examine the use of a particular social media, Twitter, and assess its value for disaster management with a focus on planning and early warnings. Our focus is Indonesia, and the potential use of Twitter to support tsunami warning and response. We assess alternative collection strategies and analyze Twitter usage under normal conditions and then use this information to identify the strengths and weaknesses of this data in supporting disaster management in terms of coverage, spatio-temporal patterns, and identification of opinion leaders. We find that while one can potentially leverage Twitter for disaster management, careful collection, assessment, and coordination with official disaster Twitter sites and local on-scene Twitter opinion leaders will be critical. Guidelines for harnessing Twitter data for disaster management are provided.
Keywords: Indonesia, Twitter, Padang, multi-component network, retweets, social media, spatio-temporal patterns, disaster management
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