Communicating on Twitter during a disaster: An analysis of tweets during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Bruno Takahashi, Edson C. Tandoc, Christine Carmichael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

287 Scopus citations


Social media in crisis situations, such as natural disasters, have been recognized by scholars and practitioners as key communication channels that can complement traditional channels. However, there is limited empirical examination from the user perspective of the functions that social media play and the factors that explain such uses. In this study we examine Twitter use during and after Typhoon Haiyan pummeled the Philippines. We tested a typology of Twitter use based on previous research, and explored external factors - time of use and geographic location - and internal factors - type of stakeholders (e.g. ordinary citizens, journalists, etc.) and social media engagement - to predict these uses. The results showed that different stakeholders used social media mostly for dissemination of second-hand information, in coordinating relief efforts, and in memorializing those affected. Recommendations for future research and applications in future crises are also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-398
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Content analysis
  • Crisis
  • Natural disasters
  • Social media
  • Twitter


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