During the Information visualization course at the Universitiet van Amsterdam, I had to work with a heterogeneous team composed by one social media student, two Artificial intelligence students and three from Information science. The social media student had to propose an interesting topic that involved to analyse a dataset, the others had to cooperate with him in order to deploy a visualization of the information.
The project uses the analysis of Tweets related to the case of the Westgate, that took place in Nairobi, Kenya. The 80-hour siege lasted from 21st to 24th of September 2013 and resulted in 72 deaths and over 200 wounded participants. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by al-Shabaab, an Islamic Somali terrorist organization. This analysis attempts to answer the following questions:
- What was the role of simple users in spreading the attack-related news on Twitter?!
- Do new media and citizen journalism make traditional news reporting obsolete, or does it complement the existing journalistic practices?!
- What type of Twitter users became opinion leaders during this event?!
- What is Twitter’s potential as a historical information source for re-narration purposes?!