Spatiotemporal Analysis in Risk Communication during Disease Outbreak using Social Media Data

May 8, 2018

by Dr. FENG Chen-Chieh Associate Professor, National University of Singapore

Proper communication of the risks associated with disease outbreak is important for responding effectively to its health threats and building public confidence. The recent rise of social media platforms as a means of communication has spurred interests in its role and impact in communicating the risk in disease outbreak. Existing research suggested that sharing rumours is a common form of public perception and risk communication among individuals during an outbreak. Social media analysis therefore provides critical insights into the spatiotemporal patterns of public perception and such socially mediated model of risk communication (or meme diffusion). Using the 2015 Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea and the tweets about this disease outbreak as an example, this presentation discusses the role of social media meme diffusion and its spatiotemporal patterns in public perception and risk communication. We applied analytical methods including the daily number of tweets for metropolitan cities and geovisualization with the weighted mean centers for the stated purpose. The spatiotemporal patterns shown by Twitter users’ interests in specific places, triggered by real space events, demonstrate the spatial interactions among places in public perception and risk communication. Public perception and risk communication about places are relevant to both social networks and spatial proximity to where Twitter users live and are interpreted in reference to both Zipf’s law and Tobler’s law.

Date: 8 May 2018 (Tues)
Time: 10:00-12:00
Venue: SB 239
Language: English