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Understanding eyewitness reports on Twitter during disasters


Zahra, Kiran; Imran, Muhammad; Ostermann, Frank O (2018). Understanding eyewitness reports on Twitter during disasters. In: 15th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management ISCRAM 2018, Rochester (USA), 21 May 2018 - 23 May 2018, 687-695.

Abstract

Social media platforms such as Twitter provide convenient ways to share and consume important information during disasters and emergencies. Information from bystanders and eyewitnesses can be useful for law enforcement agencies and humanitarian organizations to get firsthand and credible information about an ongoing situation to gain situational awareness among other uses. However, identification of eyewitness reports on Twitter is challenging for many reasons. This work investigates the sources of tweets and classifies them into three types (i) direct eyewitnesses, (ii) indirect eyewitness, and (iii) vulnerable accounts. Moreover, we investigate various characteristics associated with each kind of eyewitness account. We observe that words related to perceptual senses (feeling, seeing, hearing) tend to be present in direct eyewitness messages, whereas emotions, thoughts, and prayers are more common in indirect witnesses. We believe these characteristics can help make more efficient computational methods and systems in the future for automatic identification of eyewitness accounts.

Abstract

Social media platforms such as Twitter provide convenient ways to share and consume important information during disasters and emergencies. Information from bystanders and eyewitnesses can be useful for law enforcement agencies and humanitarian organizations to get firsthand and credible information about an ongoing situation to gain situational awareness among other uses. However, identification of eyewitness reports on Twitter is challenging for many reasons. This work investigates the sources of tweets and classifies them into three types (i) direct eyewitnesses, (ii) indirect eyewitness, and (iii) vulnerable accounts. Moreover, we investigate various characteristics associated with each kind of eyewitness account. We observe that words related to perceptual senses (feeling, seeing, hearing) tend to be present in direct eyewitness messages, whereas emotions, thoughts, and prayers are more common in indirect witnesses. We believe these characteristics can help make more efficient computational methods and systems in the future for automatic identification of eyewitness accounts.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Event End Date:23 May 2018
Deposited On:18 Jan 2019 09:33
Last Modified:29 Apr 2019 07:18
Publisher:ISCRAM
ISBN:978-0-692-12760-5
Additional Information:Conference Proceedings
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://iscram2018.rit.edu/sites/rit.edu.iscram2018/files/docs/2018_ISCRAM_Conference_Proceedings.pdf

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