Risk Communication During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Era of Social Media
Changchun Feng and Kabilijiang Umaier
Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction (IDMR), Sichuan University–The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
No.122 Huanghe Middle Road Section 1, Shuangliu District, Chengdu 610207, China
The widespread application of social media in the field of crisis management has been adopted globally. In recent years, the role of social media in emergencies has grown, especially during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This study explores the different roles played by social media in the government, the media, and the public during the pandemic through the key nodes of information dissemination at each developmental stage of crisis risk communication. The results indicate that in a government-led environment, in which social media is the link and the public is the core, attention must be directed towards the key role of social media as a “whistleblower” during the incubation period of a crisis event. Moreover, a new gatekeeping mechanism that integrates the public, the media, and the government should be formed to improve emergency management during crises.
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