What we tweet about in chaos: Framing, Twitter, and the 2012 Aurora massacre

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Following the 2012 shootings in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, news of the massacre spread like wildfire on Twitter. Any media, but particularly social media in recent years, are increasingly important in times of crisis, as they are often the only link the public has to the event. The purpose of this study is to build upon existing framing research of crises in the media to understand how individuals and organizations use Twitter to communicate during and make sense of a major crisis. Results showed that the majority of tweets discussing these shootings were framed on an individual level, mentioned individuals directly involved, and did not discuss past social crises. They also were more often framed as hope/caring more often than blame/anger.

Twitter, Aurora, Crisis, Framing, Communication, Social media, Content analysis