Chapter

Social Informatics

Volume 9471 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 67-81

Date:

Uncovering Social Media Reaction Pattern to Protest Events: A Spatiotemporal Dynamics Perspective of Ferguson Unrest

  • Jiaying HeAffiliated withDepartment of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland Email author 
  • , Lingzi HongAffiliated withSchool of Information Studies, University of Maryland
  • , Vanessa Frias-MartinezAffiliated withSchool of Information Studies, University of Maryland
  • , Paul TorrensAffiliated withDepartment of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland

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Abstract

Social platforms like Twitter play an important role in people’s participation in social events. Utilizing big social media data to uncover people’s reaction to social protests can shed lights on understanding the event progress and the attitudes of normal people. In this study, we aim to explore the use of Twitter during protests using Ferguson unrest as an example from multiple perspectives of space, time and content. We conduct an in-depth analysis to unpack the social media response and event dynamics from a spatiotemporal perspective and to evaluate the social media reaction through the integration of spatiotemporal tweeting behavior and tweet text. We propose to answer the following research questions. (1) What is the general spatiotemporal tweeting patterns across the US? (2) What is the spatiotemporal tweeting patterns in local St. Louis? (3) What are the reaction patterns in different US urban areas in space, time and content?