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Through Out of the Flames, we explored online engagement and public narratives around forest-related issues, taking the 2019 Amazon rainforest fires as a case study. Using social media data from Twitter, Facebook, Google, Instagram and YouTube, we sought to understand the public narratives and forms of engagement, participation and experience that emerged around this event at the peak of its international coverage.
From a series of analyses, we identified three distinct areas relevant to our main inquiry and summarised the key insights as Issue Stories.
Hashtags can act as indicators of issues and concerns of different actors on social media. They can serve as an entry point to explore how people connect different subject matters to each other in the wake of a global event. Through the Twitter analysis on the 2019 Amazon rainforest fires, we have identified various forest governance issues through a series of conversations with forest governance experts and journalists, many of whom followed the event closely during the peak period.
This Issue Story explores a collection of ‘global talking points’ that emerged through hashtags when the Amazon fires became international news.
As information crowds the space online, did scientific voices play any role? From a series of analyses, it is possible to identify multiple ways where science and scientific perspectives were mobilised. While in many cases, scientific voices were almost absent, marginal, present at the periphery or only after the “peak”, some specific scientific voices received a significant amount of credit and visibility on social media and media articles.
This Issue Story exposes which scientific voices emerged online and how to depict the role science played in online engagement around the 2019 Amazon rainforest fires.
From the fires to flooding making international headlines, various types of mis- and disinformation surface online. In the case of the 2019 Amazon rainforest fires, celebrities, politicians and protestors voiced their opinions with striking images and videos. Some of these objects were later debunked as materials from past unrelated events. In addition, media articles repeatedly promoted a misleading claim of “20% of global oxygen is produced in the Amazon'' despite being widely challenged.
This Issue Story depicts different ‘media recycling practices’ that have been identified in the case study by tracing the life cycle of these materials and their different usages online.