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Social Media Use and Covid-19 Risk Perception among Nigerians: The Roles of Affects, Gender and Information Sources

Journal: Media Watch (Vol.12, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 316-332

Keywords : Coronavirus; emotional appraisal; online news; public health; risk communication; Web 2.0;

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Social media technologies have become significant sources of public health information, especially in times of infectious disease outbreaks such as COVID-19. Using online survey data collected from social media users in Nigeria, this study investigates the influence of social media exposure for COVID-19 risk information on risk perception and affective responses towards the outbreak of COVID-19. It also explores gender and information sources' roles in the construction of perceived risk towards the pandemic. Findings showed that social media exposure tends to significantly influence risk perception, fear, and anger towards COVID-19, which varies across gender. However, social media's COVID-19 information sources are not significant predictors of public risk perception and affective responses towards COVID-19. Therefore, public health stakeholders should ensure correct health information to reduce panic and increase volitional control in public during risky situations.

Last modified: 2021-05-06 14:15:43