#Sandy tweets: citizens co-production of time-critical information during an unfolding catastrophe



Publication Details

Chatfield, A. T., Scholl, H. J. & Brajawidagda, U. (2014). #Sandy Tweets: Citizens Co-production of time-critical information during an unfolding catastrophe. 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2014) (pp. 1947-1957). United States: IEEE.


Social media have increasingly been used for information exchange during extreme events (EEs). Yet, until recently it had not been systematically studied how government has used and can use social media under circumstances of extreme duress. This research describes how government actually engaged citizens through social media during and in the aftermath of an EE. It also highlights the potential benefits of using social media for both governments and affected communities. Hurricane Sandy struck the US East Coast in 2012, during which both government agencies and citizens actively engaged in Twitter conversations, exchanging 132,922 tweets. The case study shows the critical contributions of citizens' information sharing with government agencies and their roles in (re-)distributing information to their Twitter followers. This specific form of co-production of public information services under duress seems to be essential for effective catastrophe response. It also demonstrates the potential benefits of government social media use.

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