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  • 13

    #OpenStockholm: Following the three stages of a hashtag's life cycle

    Walid Al-Saqaf, researcher in journalism at Södertörn University, present a study on the use of Twitter during the terror attack at Drottninggatan in April 2017. He also discuss the role of Twitterflow in relation to media reporting and questions concerning verification of breaking news.

    This study tracked the use of the #OpenStockholm hashtag following the terrorist attack that took place on April 7th 2017 in Stockholm. By extracting and analysing over 40,000 original tweets, the study found that there were three categorically different phases that the hashtag usage went through.

    The first stage started as an initiative by a tweeter who invited other Twitter users to use the hashtag as a way to offer safe refuge to anyone who was in the streets at the time of the attack and was in need for protection.

    When the police took control of the situation and declared normalcy, the original purpose of the hashtag was no longer needed, leading to the second phase that featured the hashtag as a way to express solidarity with the victims and call for unity and resistance of any calls for counter-violence or backlash against Muslims or immigrants.

    Once that phase started to subside, the third stage in the form of racist tweets targeting Muslims and immigrants started, which effectively led to the hijacking of the hashtag by tweets with apparent right-wing inclinations and of which many seem to be coming from outside Sweden.

    Additionally, the study provides some examples of tweets that included references to media reports referring to the hashtag campaign as well as tweets on the hashtag by Twitter accounts belonging to media.

    Time and place

    When: 13/12/17 at 14:00-16:00

    What: Higher seminar

    Where: Room ME 355, on the third floor in the E-wing, main building, Södertörn University, Campus Flemingsberg

    Organiser: Journalism at the School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University

    Event language: English