The use of twitter in connection to terrorism
Professor Christian Christensen and media researcher Walid Al-Saqaf have studied the use of twitter in connection to terrorism. They are two of the keynote speakers at the conference Journalism in a world of terrorism, arranged in Kalmar May 9-11 by Fojo and the Institution for Media and Journalism at Linneaus University.
For this conference, they have looked at the use of Twitter in the aftermath of the truck attack in Stockholm on April 7. The two have before studied specifically the 2015 Garissa University College terrorist attack.
“By discovering the connections between tweeters that are linked together using replies or mentions, the study demonstrated the ability of Twitter to serve as a powerful tool to create a high degree of engagement in the peak of the conflict.”
About the attack in Stockholm Walid Al-Saqaf writes:
”We were inspired by the #OpenStockholm tag that emerged in reaction to the terrorist attack, allowing people to feel that they could offer help to those who need a place to stay at a time when public transportation was in lockdown. The fact that this was a genuine public reaction purely via Twitter is quite a strong indicator of how powerful such tools could be in the aftermath of violent events like a terrorist attack.
Using Mecodify, I found that the hashtag #OpenStockholm was initiated by @vantasvart Jenny Nguyen with a Swedish tweet "Kan vi samla alla som öppnar upp sina hem i Stockholm under en hashtag? #openstockholm ?" and had triggered a viral reaction with well over 85,000 tweets and retweets using the hashtag. This could be a good way to showcase how our methodology can track tweets and see how this hashtag emerged and got conveyed and used just like I did with the Garissa attack.”
Christian Christensen Walid Al-Saqa