The Genesis of Crisis Communication in Twitter: from Witnesses to Gatewatchers

Luca Rossi, Elisabetta Zurovac

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalConference articleResearchpeer-review


During crisis events individuals look for information and try to share useful content or testify their own experience through social media. The research for valuable information is, relies largely on information provided by news agencies and official actors. This collective behavior leads, on a given amount of time, toward the emergence of gatewatching activities where digital media are used to reshare and to control information. This paper will investigate how this phenomenon emerge looking at the Twitter conversations produced during the first five hours after the earthquake that struck Emilia Romagna region in Italy on May 20th 2012. We have been able to detect, in the early user-led phase of the phenomenon, what kind of messages were produced and how user-produced communication results in different network structures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSelected Papers of Internet Research
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInternet Research 14.0: Resistance and Appropriation - Denver, United States
Duration: 23 Oct 201326 Oct 2013
Conference number: 14


ConferenceInternet Research 14.0: Resistance and Appropriation
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Crisis Communication
  • Social Media
  • Gatewatching
  • Twitter Analysis
  • Network Structures


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