"Narco" emotions: Affect and desensitization in social media during the Mexican Drug War

Munmun De Choudhury, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Gloria Mark

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

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social media platforms have emerged as prominent information sharing ecosystems in the context of a variety of recent crises, ranging from mass emergencies, to wars and political conflicts. We study affective responses in social media and how they might indicate desensitization to violence experienced in communities embroiled in an armed conflict. Specifically, we examine three established affect measures: Negative affect, activation, and dominance as observed on Twitter in relation to a number of statistics on protracted violence in four major cities afflicted by the Mexican Drug War. During a two year period (Aug 2010- Dec 2012), while violence was on the rise in these regions, our findings show a decline in negative emotional expression as well as a rise in emotional arousal and dominance in Twitter posts: Aspects known to be psychological markers of desensitization. We discuss the implications of our work for behavioral health, facilitating rehabilitation efforts in communities enmeshed in an acute and persistent urban warfare, and the impact on civic engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2014
Subtitle of host publicationOne of a CHInd - Conference Proceedings, 32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages3563-3572
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450324731
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2014 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Apr 26 2014May 1 2014

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Other

Other32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2014
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityToronto, ON
Period4/26/145/1/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Keywords

  • Affect
  • Crisis informatics
  • Desensitization
  • Social media

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