Association for Computing Machinery
Social media is gaining popularity as a medium of communication before, during, and after crises. In several recent disasters, it has become evident that social media sites like twitter and Facebook are an important source of information, and in cases they have even assisted in relief efforts. The authors propose a novel approach to identify a subset of active users during a crisis that can be tracked for fast access to information. Using a twitter dataset that consists of 12.9 million tweets from 5 countries that are part of the \"Arab Spring\" movement, they show how instant information access can be achieved by user identification along two dimensions: user's location and the user's affinity towards topics of discussion.