Due to its rapid speed of information spread, wide user bases, and extreme mobility, Twitter is drawing attention as a potential emergency reporting tool under extreme events. However, at the same time, Twitter is sometimes despised as a citizen based non-professional social medium for propagating misinformation, rumors, and, in extreme case, propaganda. This study explores the working dynamics of the rumor mill by analyzing Twitter data of the Haiti Earthquake in 2010. For this analysis, two key variables of anxiety and informational uncertainty are derived from rumor theory, and their interactive dynamics are measured by both quantitative and qualitative methods. Our research finds that information with credible sources contribute to suppress the level of anxiety in Twitter community, which leads to rumor control and high information quality.
Oh, Onook; Kwon, Kyounghee Hazel; and Rao, H. Raghav, "AN EXPLORATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN EXTREME EVENTS: RUMOR THEORY AND TWITTER DURING THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE 2010" (2010). ICIS 2010 Proceedings. 231.