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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Sep 3;12(9):10974-83. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120910974.

Public Trauma after the Sewol Ferry Disaster: The Role of Social Media in Understanding the Public Mood.

Woo H1,2, Cho Y3,4, Shim E5,6, Lee K7, Song G8.

Author information

1
School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea. hkwoo@snu.ac.kr.
2
Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea. hkwoo@snu.ac.kr.
3
School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea. youngtae@snu.ac.kr.
4
Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea. youngtae@snu.ac.kr.
5
School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea. sey@snu.ac.kr.
6
Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea. sey@snu.ac.kr.
7
Mining Laboratory, Daumsoft, Seoul 140-887, Korea. leekh@daumsoft.com.
8
Mining Laboratory, Daumsoft, Seoul 140-887, Korea. kysong@daumsoft.com.

Abstract

The Sewol ferry disaster severely shocked Korean society. The objective of this study was to explore how the public mood in Korea changed following the Sewol disaster using Twitter data. Data were collected from daily Twitter posts from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2013 and from 1 March 2014 to 30 June 2014 using natural language-processing and text-mining technologies. We investigated the emotional utterances in reaction to the disaster by analyzing the appearance of keywords, the human-made disaster-related keywords and suicide-related keywords. This disaster elicited immediate emotional reactions from the public, including anger directed at various social and political events occurring in the aftermath of the disaster. We also found that although the frequency of Twitter keywords fluctuated greatly during the month after the Sewol disaster, keywords associated with suicide were common in the general population. Policy makers should recognize that both those directly affected and the general public still suffers from the effects of this traumatic event and its aftermath. The mood changes experienced by the general population should be monitored after a disaster, and social media data can be useful for this purpose.

KEYWORDS:

Sewol ferry disaster; public mood; public trauma; social media; twitter

PMID:
26404349
PMCID:
PMC4586655
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph120910974
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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