Van waarheidsvinding naar evaluatie | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236



In this study, the construction of rumour on Twitter during a specific crisis is analysed from a discursive psychological perspective. This perspective treats psychological concepts such as identities as discursive constructions. The selected case is the robbery of a jewellery store in Deurne, a village in the Netherlands. The jeweller’s wife was said to have shot two of the robbers. Although this fact was not officially confirmed, people used particular discursive strategies to present the act of the jeweller’s wife as factual, which influenced the way the media reported on this case, as well as the reaction of the prosecutor, which was described as premature. Four dominant discursive patterns were detected, that is: normalizing the act, evaluating the act, upgrading the act and anticipating on the consequences of the act. Furthermore, it is demonstrated how critical tweets, displaying a concern for nuancing the overall tendency of the tweets, were designed in a way that downplayed their overt critical character. Implications of the analysis for crisis communication professionals are discussed.


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