March 30, 2020

Research Article (Preprint): “Covid-19 Tweeting in English: Gender Differences”

The following research article (preprint) was recently posted on arXiv.

Title

Covid-19 Tweeting in English: Gender Differences

Authors

Mike Thelwall
University of Wolverhampton

Saheeda Thelwall
University of Wolverhampton

Abstract

At the start of 2020, COVID-19 became the most urgent threat to global public health. Uniquely in recent times, governments have imposed partly voluntary, partly compulsory restrictions on the population to slow the spread of the virus. In this context, public attitudes and behaviors are vitally important for reducing the death rate. Analyzing tweets about the disease may therefore give insights into public reactions that may help guide public information campaigns. This article analyses 3,038,026 English tweets about COVID-19 from March 10 to 23, 2020. It focuses on one relevant aspect of public reaction: gender differences. The results show that females are more likely to tweet about the virus in the context of family, social distancing and healthcare whereas males are more likely to tweet about sports cancellations, the global spread of the virus and political reactions. Thus, women seem to be taking a disproportionate share of the responsibility for directly keeping the population safe. The detailed results may be useful to inform public information announcements and to help understand the spread of the virus. For example, failure to impose a sporting bans whilst encouraging social distancing may send mixed messages to males.

Direct to Full Text Article (Preprint)
10 pages; PDF.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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