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A microblogging-based approach to terrorism informatics: Exploration and chronicling civilian sentiment and response to terrorism events via Twitter


The study of terrorism informatics utilizing the Twitter microblogging service has not been given apt attention in the past few years. Twitter has been identified as both a potential facilitator and also a powerful deterrent to terrorism. Based on observations of Twitter’s role in civilian response during the recent 2009 Jakarta and Mumbai terrorist attacks, we propose a structured framework to harvest civilian sentiment and response on Twitter during terrorism scenarios. Coupled with intelligent data mining, visualization, and filtering methods, this data can be collated into a knowledge base that would be of great utility to decision-makers and the authorities for rapid response and monitoring during such scenarios. Using synthetic experimental data, we demonstrated that the proposed framework has yielded meaningful graphical visualizations of information, to reveal potential response to terrorist threats. The novelty of this study is that microblogging has never been studied in the domain of terrorism informatics. This paper also contributes to the understanding of the capability of conjoint structured data and unstructured content mining in extracting deep knowledge from noisy twitter messages, through our proposed structured framework.

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Correspondence to Marc Cheong.

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Cheong, M., Lee, V.C.S. A microblogging-based approach to terrorism informatics: Exploration and chronicling civilian sentiment and response to terrorism events via Twitter. Inf Syst Front 13, 45–59 (2011).

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  • Twitter
  • Microblogging
  • Terrorism informatics
  • Visualization
  • Data mining
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Demographic analysis
  • Civilian response