Behaviour & Information Technology Contribute to our special issue on Social Media in Conflicts and Crises

Behaviour & Information Technology

Social media is used in crises and conflicts for different reasons and by several actors, such as affected citizens, bystanders, media as well as emergency service agencies. On the one hand, social media can help to share useful information that might help to overcome the crisis. However, examples also show that terrorists use social media to recruit new members and disseminate ideologies, and social bots influence economic and political processes. Therefore, researchers need to investigate how to better exploit the potentials of social media during conflicts and crises. At the same time academics need to develop countermeasures, such as fake news detection and counter narratives.

The aim of this special issue is to showcase current research on social media in conflicts and crises. This includes the investigation of the dynamics of participation and interaction enabled by social media, which includes both good sides (participation, volunteerism) but also bad sides (fake news, rumors, suppression, political persecution). We invite papers that provide rich description and/or evaluation of the design and/or actual use of social media for collaboration and/or widespread participation in any phase of a conflict or crisis. Papers may be conceptual, theoretical and/or empirical in nature, with a preference for empirical-based theoretical work.

  • Studies of the use of social media in conflicts and crises including aspects like rumors, fake news, manipulation, cyber deception, information warfare
  • Innovations in design or use of social media that solve potential problems such as issues of information overload, assessment of information trustworthiness, or ethical issues such as privacy.
  • Issues and techniques for mining and near-real-time processing of social media data to enable early decision-making or detection of misinformation.
  • Innovative human-computer interaction techniques and methodologies relevant to the design, analysis, and evaluation of applications useful for social media in conflicts and crises. 

Submission instructions

The highest scientific quality with practical impact is critical for each paper. The publications must be original papers. If they are based on conference proceedings, additional contributions are necessary. The expected length is about 6,000-12,000 words. All contributions will be rigorously peer reviewed. As author you agree to review at least two submissions. 

Editorial information

  • Principal Guest Editor: Christian Reuter, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC) (
  • Guest Editor: Stefan Stieglitz, University of Duisburg-Essen. Professional Communication in Electronic Media / Social Media (Proco) (
  • Guest Editor: Muhammad Imran, Scientist at Qatar Computing Research Institute (