Predicting Health Communication Patterns in Follower–Influencer Networks: The Case of Taiwan Amid of COVID-19

Angela Chang, Wen Jiao
Asian Journal for Public Opinion Research  
As netizens increasingly utilize social media to obtain and engage with information, this study aims to determine the extent to which the follower–influencer interaction is manifested and strengthened. To analyze information related to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a total of 62,119 online posts from 11 Internet forums were examined to find a relationship between followers and influencers in Taiwan. These forums are PTT, SOGO, Ck101, Plurk, Mobile01, TalkFetnet, Gamez, PlaySport,
more » ... amez, PlaySport, Dcard, Eyny, and PCDVD. The variables that were the best predictors of influencer classification were _strong influences_, _engagements_, and _hot values_ across 11 Internet forums. Learning the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is vital because public actions could have been fueled by stigmatizing terms that may harm public health and well-being. The results questioned the conventional diffusion of traditional news sources because the influencers brought widespread attention to the health threat issues in the early outbreak stages. This study enhances the understanding of forum types, follower engagement, and influencers' impact maximization in social networks. The conclusion provides insight into the relationships and information diffusion mechanisms to ensure accurate health information dissemination.
doi:10.15206/ajpor.2020.8.3.246 doaj:36abdde85ee04d7fa2c2104cfb982f08 fatcat:zkpitzayd5bcvmrhdvi62v2hdy