From Mumbai to Paris: Experiencing Disasters Across Social Media

  • Liza PottsEmail author
  • Kristen Mapes
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9751)


This paper describes the use of social media during times of disaster. The Mumbai Attacks 2008 and the Paris Attacks of 2015 are used as examples of how data is validated into information and redistributed as community knowledge. Examining the tweets, Google tools, Vines, and postings of participants during these events, this paper argues for creating social web systems that can allow for participation and can help people locate relevant content.


Social media Disaster response Terrorism Twitter Vine Youtube Paris attacks Mumbai attacks Actor-network theory User experience 


  1. 1.
    Potts, L.: Social Media in Disaster Response: How Experience Architects Can Build for Participation. Routledge, New York (2014)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Potts, L.: Peering into disaster: social software use from the Indian Ocean earthquake to the Mumbai bombings. In: Professional Communication Conference, pp. 1–8. IEEE Press, New York (2009a)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Potts, L.: Using actor network theory to trace and improve multimodal communication design. Tech. Commun. Q. 18(3), 281–301 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Potts, L., Seitzinger, J., Jones, D., Harrison, A.: Tweeting disaster: hashtag constructions and collisions. In: Proceedings of the 29th ACM International Conference on Design of Communication, pp. 235–240. ACM, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Potts, L., Harrison, A.: Interfaces as rhetorical constructions: reddit and 4chan during the Boston marathon bombings. In: Proceedings of the 31st ACM International Conference on Design of Communication, pp. 143–150. ACM, New York (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Latour, B.: Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1987, 2002)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Law, J.: Notes on the theory of the actor-network: ordering, strategy and heterogeneity. Syst. Pract. 5, 379–393 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Callon, M.: Some elements of a sociology of translation: domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay. In: Law, J. (ed.) Power, Action, and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge?, pp. 196–223. Routledge, London (1986)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mol, A., Law, J.: Regions, networks, and fluids: Anaemia and social topology. Soc. Stud. Sci. 24, 641–671 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cantoni, L., Tardini, S.: Internet. Routledge, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Morville, P.: Ambient Findability: What We Find Changes Who We Become. O’Reilly Media, Sebastopol (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kock, N.: Systems Analysis and Design Fundamentals: A Business Process Redesign Approach. Sage, Thousand Oaks (2007)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Weinberger, D.: Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room. Basic Books, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Chief Investigating Officer, Government of India. In the Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, 37th Court, Esplanade, Mumbai. “Final Form/Report” (underSection173Cr.P.C.) (2009). Accessed 10 Feb 2016
  15. 15.
    Mehta, D.: Commentary: how social media shared pain and rage of Mumbai. CNN (2008). Accessed 10 Feb 2016
  16. 16.
    BBC News: Paris attacks: what happened on the night. BBC News (2015).
  17. 17.
    ArsenalTerje, Vine (2015). Accessed 10 Feb 2016
  18. 18.
    Buckley, P.: Twitter (2015). Accessed 10 Feb 2016
  19. 19.
    Perrin, A.: Social media usage: 2005–2015, Pew Research Center (2015). Accessed 11 Feb 2016
  20. 20.
  21. 21.
    Twitter: Selected Company Metrics and Financials, Fourth Quarter 2015. Investor Relations (2015). Accessed 21 Feb 2016
  22. 22.
    Twitter: 200 Million Tweets Per Day. Blog (2011). Accessed 21 Feb 2016
  23. 23.
    Siegel, A.: Here’s what we can learn from how Twitter responded to Paris. The Washington Post (2015). Accessed 11 Feb 2016
  24. 24.
    Twitter: In search of those missing in Paris. Twitter Moments (2015). Accessed 11 Feb 2016

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.WIDE Research CenterMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.College of Arts and LettersMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Personalised recommendations