The case for readability of crisis communications in social media

Irina Temnikova, Sarah Vieweg, Carlos Castillo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The readability of text documents has been studied from a linguistic perspective long before people began to regularly communicate via Internet technologies. Typically, such studies look at books or articles containing many paragraphs and pages. However, the readability of short messages comprising a few sentences, common on today's social networking sites and microblogging services, has received less attention from researchers working on "readability". Emergency management specialists, crisis response practitioners, and scholars have long recognized that clear communication is essential during crises. To the best of our knowledge, the work we present here is the first to study the readability of crisis communications posted on Twitter-by governments, non-governmental organizations, and mainstream media. The data we analyze is comprised of hundreds of tweets posted during 15 different crises in English-speaking countries, which happened between 2012 and 2013. We describe factors which negatively affect comprehension, and consider how understanding can be improved. Based on our analysis and observations, we conclude with several recommendations for how to write brief crisis messages on social media that are clear and easy to understand.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWWW 2015 Companion - Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages1245-1250
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781450334730
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2015
Event24th International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2015 - Florence, Italy
Duration: 18 May 201522 May 2015

Other

Other24th International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2015
CountryItaly
CityFlorence
Period18/5/1522/5/15

Fingerprint

Communication
Linguistics
Internet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

Cite this

Temnikova, I., Vieweg, S., & Castillo, C. (2015). The case for readability of crisis communications in social media. In WWW 2015 Companion - Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web (pp. 1245-1250). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/2740908.2741718

The case for readability of crisis communications in social media. / Temnikova, Irina; Vieweg, Sarah; Castillo, Carlos.

WWW 2015 Companion - Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web. Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, 2015. p. 1245-1250.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Temnikova, I, Vieweg, S & Castillo, C 2015, The case for readability of crisis communications in social media. in WWW 2015 Companion - Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web. Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, pp. 1245-1250, 24th International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2015, Florence, Italy, 18/5/15. https://doi.org/10.1145/2740908.2741718
Temnikova I, Vieweg S, Castillo C. The case for readability of crisis communications in social media. In WWW 2015 Companion - Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web. Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. 2015. p. 1245-1250 https://doi.org/10.1145/2740908.2741718
Temnikova, Irina ; Vieweg, Sarah ; Castillo, Carlos. / The case for readability of crisis communications in social media. WWW 2015 Companion - Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web. Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, 2015. pp. 1245-1250
@inproceedings{e303409d1f0a41e59bb875fc628a3b16,
title = "The case for readability of crisis communications in social media",
abstract = "The readability of text documents has been studied from a linguistic perspective long before people began to regularly communicate via Internet technologies. Typically, such studies look at books or articles containing many paragraphs and pages. However, the readability of short messages comprising a few sentences, common on today's social networking sites and microblogging services, has received less attention from researchers working on {"}readability{"}. Emergency management specialists, crisis response practitioners, and scholars have long recognized that clear communication is essential during crises. To the best of our knowledge, the work we present here is the first to study the readability of crisis communications posted on Twitter-by governments, non-governmental organizations, and mainstream media. The data we analyze is comprised of hundreds of tweets posted during 15 different crises in English-speaking countries, which happened between 2012 and 2013. We describe factors which negatively affect comprehension, and consider how understanding can be improved. Based on our analysis and observations, we conclude with several recommendations for how to write brief crisis messages on social media that are clear and easy to understand.",
author = "Irina Temnikova and Sarah Vieweg and Carlos Castillo",
year = "2015",
month = "5",
day = "18",
doi = "10.1145/2740908.2741718",
language = "English",
isbn = "9781450334730",
pages = "1245--1250",
booktitle = "WWW 2015 Companion - Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web",
publisher = "Association for Computing Machinery, Inc",

}

TY - GEN

T1 - The case for readability of crisis communications in social media

AU - Temnikova, Irina

AU - Vieweg, Sarah

AU - Castillo, Carlos

PY - 2015/5/18

Y1 - 2015/5/18

N2 - The readability of text documents has been studied from a linguistic perspective long before people began to regularly communicate via Internet technologies. Typically, such studies look at books or articles containing many paragraphs and pages. However, the readability of short messages comprising a few sentences, common on today's social networking sites and microblogging services, has received less attention from researchers working on "readability". Emergency management specialists, crisis response practitioners, and scholars have long recognized that clear communication is essential during crises. To the best of our knowledge, the work we present here is the first to study the readability of crisis communications posted on Twitter-by governments, non-governmental organizations, and mainstream media. The data we analyze is comprised of hundreds of tweets posted during 15 different crises in English-speaking countries, which happened between 2012 and 2013. We describe factors which negatively affect comprehension, and consider how understanding can be improved. Based on our analysis and observations, we conclude with several recommendations for how to write brief crisis messages on social media that are clear and easy to understand.

AB - The readability of text documents has been studied from a linguistic perspective long before people began to regularly communicate via Internet technologies. Typically, such studies look at books or articles containing many paragraphs and pages. However, the readability of short messages comprising a few sentences, common on today's social networking sites and microblogging services, has received less attention from researchers working on "readability". Emergency management specialists, crisis response practitioners, and scholars have long recognized that clear communication is essential during crises. To the best of our knowledge, the work we present here is the first to study the readability of crisis communications posted on Twitter-by governments, non-governmental organizations, and mainstream media. The data we analyze is comprised of hundreds of tweets posted during 15 different crises in English-speaking countries, which happened between 2012 and 2013. We describe factors which negatively affect comprehension, and consider how understanding can be improved. Based on our analysis and observations, we conclude with several recommendations for how to write brief crisis messages on social media that are clear and easy to understand.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84968542309&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84968542309&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1145/2740908.2741718

DO - 10.1145/2740908.2741718

M3 - Conference contribution

AN - SCOPUS:84968542309

SN - 9781450334730

SP - 1245

EP - 1250

BT - WWW 2015 Companion - Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web

PB - Association for Computing Machinery, Inc

ER -