Twitter: An Underutilized Potential during Sudden Crises?
Article first published online: 25 JUL 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
Volume 21, Issue 3, pages 178–183, September 2013
How to Cite
Helsloot, I. and Groenendaal, J. (2013), Twitter: An Underutilized Potential during Sudden Crises?. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 21: 178–183. doi: 10.1111/1468-5973.12023
- Issue published online: 11 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 25 JUL 2013
The widespread use of Twitter by citizens during sudden crises has convinced communications experts that governments should also actively use Twitter during crises. However, this position seems insufficiently empirically validated. In this article, we want to provide empirical building blocks for an informed approach to the use of Twitter by the government. To this end, we analyze the tweets posted by citizens and governments about the large-scale fire in Moerdijk (2011), the Netherlands. The results show that by far, most tweets do not contain any new and relevant information for governments and that the tweets posted by governments got buried under an avalanche of citizen tweets. We may conclude that the Moerdijk case does not give rise to advocate a (more) active role of governments on Twitter during sudden crises.