Hashtag Lifespan and Social Networks during the London Riots
edited by: ArielM Greenberg, WilliamG Kennedy, NathanD Bos
Social media is a powerful medium for rapidly sharing information and organizing response in times of crisis or extreme events. Twitter users have adopted a convention of hashtags to support this and other uses of microblogging services. Using Twitter data from the 2011 London riots, we analyze emergent social networks directly relating to response to crisis. We examine networks of riot response oriented around cleanup or prayer activities. These networks differ in size, structure, general membership, and prominent actors. We explore whether temporal patterns observed in social media, such as hashtag “lifespan,” may relate to observed social processes and behaviors.