The structure of citizen bystander offering behaviors immediately after the Boston marathon bombing

Nicolas LaLone, Z. O. Toups, Andrea Tapia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

In April of 2013, two pressure cooker bombs detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The resulting crowdsourced criminal investigation has been subject to intense scrutiny. What has not been discussed are the offering behaviors of Twitter users immediately following the detonations. The hashtag #BostonHelp offers a case study of what emergent, computer-mediated groups offer victims of a crisis event. Through creative appropriation of at-hand technologies (CAAT), this emergent group organized online offering and information about tangible resources on the ground. In this case, #BostonHelp participants harnessed blogs, social media, Google Forms, and pre-existing services to organize help for those in need. The resulting structure stabilized and became a symbol of the response itself. This case study offers an analysis of the structure created by computer-mediated crowds. We conclude with a discussion of trying to design, or even detect these behaviors at the start of a crisis response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 53rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2020
EditorsTung X. Bui
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages2177-2186
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780998133133
StatePublished - 2020
Event53rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2020 - Maui, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2020Jan 10 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Volume2020-January
ISSN (Print)1530-1605

Conference

Conference53rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMaui
Period1/7/201/10/20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

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