The Role of Social Media Network Participants in Extreme Events
Mirbabaie, Milad; Bunker, Deborah; Stieglitz, Stefan
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How does the use of social media such as Twitter in an extreme event such as the 1st of May Labour Day impact the role of an emergency management agency (EMA) like the Berlin police and its relationships with other roles in this event? How do properties of the Twitter social media network in this event, determine EMA and other role relations and the overall network configuration? We argue that trust (worthiness) is a central non-relational attribute of an EMA role which is based on perceptions of EMA integrity and which influences role relationships within the social network. As EMAs are also responsible for taking action to protect the community in times of such an extreme event, we also argue that “swift trust” is in-built in EMA roles. EMA roles are also reinforced by the non-relational role attribute of quality of communication that reflects message authenticity, in this case “transparent and understandable” communications that are an expected of an EMA.