Twitter Detects Riots Faster Than Police, Study Says

A new study by Cardiff University has determined that Twitter can be used to identify dangerous situations up to an hour faster than police reports. From a report: Researchers at Cardiff analyzed 1.6 million tweets relevant to the 2011 London riots. In the town of Enfield, police received reports of disorder an hour and 23 minutes after computer systems could have picked up the same information from Twitter, according to the study. “In this research, we show that online social media are becoming the go-to place to report observations of everyday occurrences — including social disorder and terrestrial criminal activity,” said co-author of the study Pete Burnap.


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