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Hiroko Wilensky. (2014). Twitter as a navigator for stranded commuters during the great east Japan earthquake. In and P.C. Shih. L. Plotnick M. S. P. S.R. Hiltz (Ed.), ISCRAM 2014 Conference Proceedings – 11th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 697–706). University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University.
Abstract: The increased use of social media, such as Twitter, was widely reported on Japanese media after the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. This study is a qualitative investigation of the use of Twitter by the stranded commuters and their supporters in the Tokyo metropolitan area immediately after the earthquake. This paper describes the possibilities and problems of Twitter use under a rapidly changing disaster situation. During the first evening of this disaster, the Japan Railroad and other railroad systems ceased their operations in the Tokyo area. This left more than five million commuters stranded in the area. Many commuters walked hours to return home, while others struggled to find temporary shelter and stayed overnight in the city. This study also explores if Twitter was an effective navigator for helping stranded commuters return home or find shelter.