Trouble in Paradise: Haze Craze 2013


As the saying goes, “rumours spread like wildfire”–and this has never felt more true than it has in Singapore this week.

In line with the agricultural slash-and-burn tactics employed by farmers in Sumatra, Indonesia,  deforestation has lit a blaze of buzz upon social media platforms here in Singapore.

Over 290,000 individuals have mentioned the haze over 340,000 times, to the tune of 236 million estimated impressions.

All in a country of just 5 million.

Memes have been born. Politics have been amplified. And voices have echoed across the island, with a clarity that is resolutely ironic given the diminished visibility the haze has endowed upon us, as it continues to shroud Singapore.

An especially striking component of this incident lies in the correspondence between severity and popularity. Our research found that increases in PSI as posted by NEA updates directly correlated with larger volumes in conversations on social media. In essence: the thicker the haze, the louder the voice. While such a connection would appear natural and perhaps even expected–it is precisely this connection that exemplifies the power of having a voice on social media.

More insights on conversations in the infographic below: