Retweets of officials’ alarming vs reassuring messages during the COVID-19 pandemic: Implications for crisis management

H. Raghav Rao, Naga Vemprala, Patricia Akello, Rohit Valecha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Coronavirus related discussions have spiraled at an exponential rate since its initial outbreak. By the end of May, more than 6 million people were diagnosed with this infection. Twitter witnessed an outpouring of anxious tweets through messages associated with the spread of the virus. Government and health officials replied to the troubling tweets, reassuring the public with regular alerts on the virus's progress and information to defend against the virus. We observe that social media users are worried about Covid 19-related crisis and we identify three separate conversations on virus contagion, prevention, and the economy. We analyze the tone of officials’ tweet text as alarming and reassuring and capture the response of Twitter users to official communications. Such studies can provide insights to health officials and government agencies for crisis management, specifically regarding communicating emergency information to the public via social media for establishing reassurance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102187
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Volume55
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Alarming
  • Analytics
  • Coronavirus
  • Covid-19
  • Crisis management
  • Government
  • Reassurance
  • Social media
  • Twitter

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