What is it about?

We analyzed the Facebook posts of Ministry of Health Singapore (MOH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Public Health England (PHE) to look for content related to COVID-19. We report that MOH has published more COVID19 posts with rich content compared to the other two PHAs. For instance, MOH has tried to clarify on misinformation spread in the social media circles. Due to better outreach, we noticed that public sentiment towards MOH's posts improved over a period of time. On the other hand, CDC and PHE's COVID-19 outreach in January and February appears to be less pronounced although the activity seems to have picked up only from start of March. Our observation is that PHAs should be more proactive in updating the public about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

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Why is it important?

Outreach and engagement in social media has become very important these days since citizens rely on these platforms for their information needs. Particularly during a pandemic such as COVID-19, public health authorities are expected to inform the public about how the situation is being handled. Our work is an attempt at measuring these efforts.


We might need to extend this work with data from other social media platforms as well

Aravind Sesagiri Raamkumar
National University of Singapore

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Measuring the Outreach Efforts of Public Health Authorities and the Public Response on Facebook during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Early 2020: A Cross-Country Comparison (Preprint), Journal of Medical Internet Research, April 2020, JMIR Publications Inc.,
DOI: 10.2196/19334.
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