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Start Date

16-8-2018 12:00 AM

Description

In Guatemala, a growing public sphere powerfully fueled by social media has begun to forge a culture of zero tolerance towards impunity. In the last years, several organizations have relied heavily on social media for alerting the citizens when they detect actions by the government that go against the public interest. We focus on content in social media that enable citizens to understand how dysfunctional state institutions affect their everyday life. We engaged in a qualitative study using Twitter data in the context of a Guatemalan tragedy where 41 girls lost their lives while living in a state-run care home. We found that different types of content turned the events surrounding the tragedy into circumstances that are easily comprehended by the general public. In this way, social media expanded shared awareness on the failure of the home to fulfill its responsibilities by highlighting the causes and culprits of the tragedy.

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Facts or Opinions? Making Sense through Social Media

In Guatemala, a growing public sphere powerfully fueled by social media has begun to forge a culture of zero tolerance towards impunity. In the last years, several organizations have relied heavily on social media for alerting the citizens when they detect actions by the government that go against the public interest. We focus on content in social media that enable citizens to understand how dysfunctional state institutions affect their everyday life. We engaged in a qualitative study using Twitter data in the context of a Guatemalan tragedy where 41 girls lost their lives while living in a state-run care home. We found that different types of content turned the events surrounding the tragedy into circumstances that are easily comprehended by the general public. In this way, social media expanded shared awareness on the failure of the home to fulfill its responsibilities by highlighting the causes and culprits of the tragedy.