Journal of
Media and Communication Studies

  • Abbreviation: J. Media Commun. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2545
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 193

Full Length Research Paper

Forecasting, forewarning weather and disasters in the social web: A network study

Mahalakshmi Selvaraj
  • Mahalakshmi Selvaraj
  • Department of Media Sciences, Faculty of Science and Humanities, Anna University, Chennai-600025, India.
  • Google Scholar
Sunitha Kuppuswamy
  • Sunitha Kuppuswamy
  • Department of Media Sciences, Faculty of Science and Humanities, Anna University, Chennai-600025, India.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 30 August 2018
  •  Accepted: 05 October 2018
  •  Published: 30 November 2018

Abstract

Web 2.0 environments like the social web have redefined communication altogether through the proliferation of user generated content. With escalating global instances of disasters, people more particularly the millennial community tend to consume increased amounts of multitudinous information pertaining to weather and its woes in the social web apart from actively participating in the disaster discourse. The current research intends to examine the usage of social networking sites for disaster information dissemination by careful examination of a Facebook page dedicated to disaster and weather discourse. The efficacy of the social networking page in communicating real-time weather and disaster information is studied through network analysis of the page in the case of a tropical cyclone that hit the state of Tamil Nadu during the months of November - December in 2017. Tropical cyclones devastate the coastal stretch of Tamil Nadu State more frequently, and Ockhi was one such recent cyclone that caused a severe savage incurring very high social costs. The research is an attempt to explore the engagement and interaction of users in the social cyberspace under study during Ockhi cyclone. The research reveals the extent of user participation and engagement by identifying various elements in the social communication network.

 

Key words: Facebook, social media, cyclone, Ockhi, disaster, weather, communication, Tamil Nadu, weatherman.