A Trend Topic on Twitter (WEEK 2)

The Ebola virus has become the scariest disease in the world recently. This article will focus on how people write and share things about Ebola on the social media Twitter. From this particular issue, we will discuss different  contents of Twitters that contain less than 140 characters which are allowed in one single Twitter.

The Ebola virus has claimed more than 4,000 lives during the current epidemic in West Africa, the largest outbreak since the virus was discovered nearly 40 years ago. After the second nurse to contract Ebola in the United States was receiving care at an Atlanta hospital on 16th October, a day after the news emerged that officials did not stop her flying on a commercial flight even after she reported a slight temperature. BBC News posted a piece of news on its own website about the reason why Ebola is so dangerous and how can it be stopped. After that BBC News links the web address on Twitter, which is a sort of announcement or promotion about the article. As we can see the screen shot below, it’s been retweeted more than 600 times.

屏幕快照 2014-10-16 下午1.54.25

The same example as the one below: BBC News (World) puts a link of BBC website.

Apart from most vital news on it, mostly people chat on Twitter. A Twitter Study  published in 2009 analyzed 2,000 tweets (originating from the United States and in English) over a two-week period in August 2009 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and separated them into six categories:

  • Pointless babble – 40%
  • Conversational – 38%
  • Pass-along value – 9%
  • Self-promotion – 6%
  • Spam– 4%
  • News – 4%

Here are two examples of the babbles:

People use Twitter to communicate, share, question and discuss. With the concentration of the hottest trends and topics of the world, it is trying to become a real-time news source of citizen journalists.

(Total words: 291)


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