‘Tweet-Dashians’: Ph.D. candidate Elodie Fichet featured in several news articles around nation, world

Elodie FichetElodie Fichet, a Communication doctoral candidate studying public relations and crisis communication, was featured in several articles in the past couple of weeks surrounding her research with Assistant Professor Kate Starbird on the impact of online rumoring on Twitter following crisis events.

Fichet works in Starbird’s lab at the Human Centered Design Engineering department, which looks at the spread of misinformation on social media during crisis – specifically at self-corrective behaviors on Twitter (in response to rumors) and the impact of ‘official accounts’ on rumoring during crisis situations.

Media outlets around the nation, and even one in Germany and in Poland, focused on their recent paper “Keeping Up with the Tweet-dashians: The Impact of Official Accounts on Online Rumoring.” Fichet and Starbird documented the spread of two online rumors that initially spiked on Twitter: alleged police raids in a Muslim neighborhood during a hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, and the rumored hijacking of a WestJet flight to Mexico – both successfully suppressed by denials from official accounts.

“A lot of emergency managers are afraid that the voice of the many drowns out the official sources on Twitter, and that even if they are part of the conversation, no one is going to hear them,” Fichet was quoted in one of the articles. “We disproved that and showed that official sources, at least in the cases we looked at, do have a critical impact.”

Read more about the findings in these various news articles: