Social Media in Japan's 3.11 Crisis

Social Media, Information and Political Activism in Japan's 3.11 Crisis

David H. Slater, Nishimura Keiko and Love Kindstrand

What we see here is not only the nearly unprecedented act of appealing to strangers for help, but also the revealing of emotions that rarely if ever is shared in public discourse. Asking for help from strangers is a significant act of trust, maybe even more unusual in Japan than in other societies; offering help is a way to return that trust. In this way, one of the issues that this paper points to is the way that social media as deployed during and after 3.11 has made us rethink the nature and efficacy of the civic sphere in Japan.

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