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Nowadays, a growing number of people use social media platforms to discuss and propagate information within their communities. Moreover, due to the popularity of mobile devices, the use of social networks became possible almost everywhere and at any time. In the case of unexpected events or crisis situations, social networks such as Twitter and YouTube are used for informal communication in order to publically inform when official information is perceived as not being sufficient or timely enough or to exchange tips and experiences. Due to the popularity, visibility and fast response time in terms of information dissemination, appropriate handling of social media plays an important role in dealing with crisis situations.

Nowadays, a growing number of people use social media platforms to discuss and propagate information within their communities. Moreover, due to the popularity of mobile devices, the use of social networks became possible almost everywhere and at any time. In the case of unexpected events or crisis situations, social networks such as Twitter and YouTube are used for informal communication in order to publically inform when official information is perceived as not being sufficient or timely enough or to exchange tips and experiences. Due to the popularity, visibility and fast response time in terms of information dissemination, appropriate handling of social media plays an important role in dealing with crisis situations.

 

In the K3 project, the L3S team is responsible for social media analysis e.g. for information filtering and for identifying rumors. Social networks present particular characteristics which can make the access to information difficult. For instance, while Twitter provides the user a search function, finding relevant content can be relatively complex. Moreover, the unbalanced retrieval of content can lead to an overstress of top-hot content, while less popular topics become invisible. This is especially true for highly dynamic networks such as Twitter. Another challenge in accessing the information is posed by the evolving terminology. Accessing the information can also be hampered by the use of platform specific terminologies and communication practices which are tailored to each particular social network, and which usually constantly change over time.

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