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Twitter Response during the Attacks in Paris 

by Ashley Duross


Social media has evolved into an interactive, collaborative, conversational, and community-based platform for crisis communication worldwide over the course of the past 10 years. Crisis information has never been more accessible to immediately affected publics. Alongside this, satellite publics have the ability to stay in the know more efficiently than ever before. However, there is little known about how users consume, create, and promote the risk and crisis information through social media. There is also little known about ancillary communication that happens during a crisis. The current study analyzes the content of over 2,000 tweets using “#Prayers4Paris” and “#ParisAttacks” as search terms to find tweets that were published any time between 5 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. (EST) on November 13, 2015, the day of the terrorist attack in Paris. These tweets were placed into seven categories: (1) support, (2) frustration (w/extremists), (3) frustration (w/world leaders), (4) humor, (5) relief efforts, (6) news, and (7) fear. Data was collected from both official agencies and the general public. The study measures how accessible relief information was made to victims and families and how the general mood of content changed between 5 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

About the Author

Ashley Duross began her term as a Communications Research Fellow in the second half of her junior year at Millersville University. She will graduate with a bachelor’s of science in speech communication with an option in public relations in May of 2017. Ashley is an active member of the Millersville University chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America and the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Ashley will be further developing her research to examine the global, social reaction to the attack in the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida this past June and the attack in Nice, France, in July during the celebration of Bastille Day. Once data is collected and evaluated, it will be compared to find differences in mood from one attack to another.

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