RESEARCH OF THE POTENTIALS OF TWITTER SOCIAL NETWORK IN CRISIS SITUATIONS
AbstractThis paper describes an approach for harnessing Twitter social network in crisis situations. Main goal was to investigate possibilities of using Twitter as a platform for collecting and dissemination of information during the natural and environmental disasters. Research context is focused on the period of floods in the Western Balkans during May 2014, particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina. A method for collecting, storing, analyzing and presenting data, i.e. tweets and retweets from Twitter, is described. Further, an application for gathering and visualization of data from Twitter API was developed. Research sample included 45480 Twitter messages from users in the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia. Data were investigated using Social network analysis techniques with respect to location, content and user characteristics. Study results pointed out that Twitter is a valuable source of important information in crisis situations, particularly as a provider of prompt information from the endangered territories.