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Article

A Twitter-Lived Red Tide Crisis on Chiloé Island, Chile: What Can Be Obtained for Social-Ecological Research through Social Media Analysis?

1
Centro de Estudios Públicos, Monseñor Sótero Sanz 162, Providencia, Santiago 7500011, Chile
2
Escuela de Gobierno, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Diagonal Las Torres 2640, Peñalolén, Santiago 7941169, Chile
3
Facultad de Economía y Empresas, Universidad Diego Portales, Av. Sta. Clara 797, Huechuraba, Santiago 8581169, Chile
4
Center for Climate and Resilience Research (CR)2, Universidad de Chile, Blanco Encalada 2002, Santiago 8370449, Chile
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Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Diagonal Las Torres 2640, Peñalolén, Santiago 7941169, Chile
6
Center of Applied Ecology and Sustainability (CAPES), Santiago 8331150, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8506; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208506
Received: 9 September 2020 / Revised: 9 October 2020 / Accepted: 10 October 2020 / Published: 15 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socio-Ecological Systems Sustainability)
Considering traditional research on social-ecological crises, new social media analysis, particularly Twitter data, contributes with supplementary exploration techniques. In this article, we argue that a social media approach to social-ecological crises can offer an actor-centered meaningful perspective on social facts, a depiction of the general dynamics of meaning making that takes place among actors, and a systemic view of actors’ communication before, during and after the crisis. On the basis of a multi-technique approach to Twitter data (TF-IDF, hierarchical clustering, egocentric networks and principal component analysis) applied to a red tide crisis on Chiloé Island, Chile, in 2016, the most significant red tide in South America ever, we offer a view on the boundaries and dynamics of meaning making in a social-ecological crisis. We conclude that this dynamics shows a permanent reflexive work on elucidating the causes and effects of the crisis that develops according to actors’ commitments, the sequence of events, and political conveniences. In this vein, social media analysis does not replace good qualitative research, it rather opens up supplementary possibilities for capturing meanings from the past that cannot be retrieved otherwise. This is particularly relevant for studying social-ecological crises and supporting collective learning processes that point towards increased resilience capacities and more sustainable trajectories in affected communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: social-ecological crisis; social media analysis; meaning-making; learning processes; Twitter data; red tide; Chiloé Island social-ecological crisis; social media analysis; meaning-making; learning processes; Twitter data; red tide; Chiloé Island
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mascareño, A.; Henríquez, P.A.; Billi, M.; Ruz, G.A. A Twitter-Lived Red Tide Crisis on Chiloé Island, Chile: What Can Be Obtained for Social-Ecological Research through Social Media Analysis? Sustainability 2020, 12, 8506. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208506

AMA Style

Mascareño A, Henríquez PA, Billi M, Ruz GA. A Twitter-Lived Red Tide Crisis on Chiloé Island, Chile: What Can Be Obtained for Social-Ecological Research through Social Media Analysis? Sustainability. 2020; 12(20):8506. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208506

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mascareño, Aldo, Pablo A. Henríquez, Marco Billi, and Gonzalo A. Ruz. 2020. "A Twitter-Lived Red Tide Crisis on Chiloé Island, Chile: What Can Be Obtained for Social-Ecological Research through Social Media Analysis?" Sustainability 12, no. 20: 8506. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208506

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