New MeCoDEM Policy Brief: The role of Twitter during times of crisis

A Policy Brief by Christian Christensen and Walid Al-Saqaf  is now available.

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The research project Media, Conflict and Democracy (MeCoDEM) has published a new policy brief document. The paper “The role of Twitter during times of crisis” is based on three studies conducted on the use of Twitter during periods of conflict and crisis. The brief is authored by Christian Christensen and Walid Al-Saqaf of Stockholm University.

The three cases cover a spectrum of conflict-related social media use: the South African SONA case exemplifies (failed) government communication in an emerging democracy; the Garissa attack in Kenya is a case of a terrorist attack associated with a minority in a fragile democracy; and the Stockholm terror attack on 7 April 2017 is an example of Twitter communication in the wake of terror in the context of an established democracy in Europe.

A series of policy suggestions are offered relating to, for example, the symbiotic relationship between Twitter and mainstream media outlets; the power of a social media platform to bypass “traditional” media; and, Twitter as an elite, niche platform.