What is it about?

We use tweets to examine emotional responses, calls for action, and information sharing, after a mass shooting on a college campus. We found that positive responses, such as hope, peaked a day later than negative responses like anger or disgust. News sources were more often shared than the institutional sources to this college shooting.

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Why is it important?

Understanding the pattern of emotions in a community after a mass shooting can help campuses and communities to better plan timely interventions. Twitter's rapid sharing of information and reactions can capture a portrait of a community in the digital sphere.


Twitter can be used as a community healing space, in which stakeholders and community members may be connected through large events (e.g. traumatic ones such as a shooting, or large sporting events). In order to foster support through Twitter, responses to negative emotions are needed within the first 24 hours of a negative event. We saw calls for community action without much response; connecting these tweets to ways for advocacy, support, or connection, may be a valuable intervention.

Jessamyn Bowling
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Coming together in a digital age: Community twitter responses in the wake of a campus shooting, PLoS ONE, December 2022, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0279569.
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