Moral Panic through the Lens of Twitter: An Analysis of Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Wasim Ahmed, Peter A Bath, Laura Sbaffi, Gianluca Demaerini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper presents an in-depth qualitative analysis of n=13,373 tweets that relate to the peak of the Swine Flu outbreak of 2009, and the Ebola outbreak of 2014. Tweets were analysed using thematic analysis and a number of themes and sub-themes were identified. The results were brought together in an abstraction phase and the commonalities between the cases were studied. An interesting similarity which emerged was the rate at which Twitter users expressed intense fear and panic akin to that of the sociological concept of “moral panic”. Moreover, a number of discussions were found to emerge which were not reported in previous literature. Our study is the largest in-depth analysis of tweets on infectious diseases. Our results will inform public health strategies for future infectious disease outbreaks. Future work will seek to conduct further comparisons and explore relevant health theory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSMSociety '18 Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Social Media and Society
PublisherACM
Pages217-221
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-6334-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2018
Event9th International Conference on Social Media & Society - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 18 Jul 201820 Jul 2018
http://socialmediaandsociety.org/

Conference

Conference9th International Conference on Social Media & Society
CountryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period18/07/1820/07/18
Internet address

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