Login Event Calendar Careers About NACCHO Contact Us Site Map
 
Search  
Toolbox
»
»
»
»
»

Return to Toolbox Main.

Twitter as a Sentinel in Emergency Situations: Lessons from the Boston Marathon Explosions

Description:

Immediately following the Boston Marathon attacks, individuals near the scene posted a deluge of data to social media sites. Previous work has shown that these data can be leveraged to provide rapid insight during natural disasters, disease outbreaks and ongoing conflicts that can assist in the public health and medical response. Here, we examine and discuss the social media messages posted immediately after and around the Boston Marathon bombings, and find that specific keywords appear frequently prior to official public safety and news media reports. Individuals immediately adjacent to the explosions posted messages within minutes via Twitter which identify the location and specifics of events, demonstrating a role for social media in the early recognition and characterization of emergency events.

Toolkit:

Epidemiology Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Epidemiology, Social Media, Surveillance

Jurisdiction:

Institutional Author:

Submitted:

07/10/2013

Modified:

The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.