Twitter Use During Hurricane Sandy

Nov 06, 2012

How did people use Twitter during Hurricane Sandy?

For millions who lost power but could still access the internet on mobile devices, Twitter served as a critical lifeline throughout the disaster that struck on October 29. At least a few news operations, such as Huffington Post and the aggregator BuzzFeed saw their servers go down and turned to Twitter and other social media to deliver reports.

According to Twitter, people sent more than 20 million tweets about the storm from October 27 through November 1. This was more than twice the usage from the two previous days. In New York, usage peaked on October 29 around 9 pm, according to Twitter’s internal data, the same time that a Con Edison substation exploded in Manhattan’s East Village, knocking out power to much of lower Manhattan.

What were the main thrusts of the posts? What would an individual searching for posts about Sandy have found in the social network?

Read the full report, Twitter Use During Hurricane Sandy, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism website.

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