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How local outbreak of COVID-19 affect the risk of internet public opinion: A Chinese social media case study

Liyi Liu, Yan Tu and Xiaoyang Zhou

Technology in Society, 2022, vol. 71, issue C

Abstract: Motivated by the realistic demand of controlling the Internet public opinion risk caused by the local outbreak of COVID-19, this paper creatively proposes a COVID-19 local outbreak Internet public opinion risk grading research framework. The SMAA-FAHPSort II method combining Analytic Hierarchy Process Sort II (AHPSort II) method with Stochastic Multicriteria Acceptability Analysis (SMAA-2) method is introduced into this framework, to evaluate the Internet public opinion risk level of social media during the local outbreak of COVID-19. In addition, this framework is applied to a case of Internet public opinion risk evaluation on Microblog platform of China. According to the number of new cases per day in mainland China, this paper divides the period from May 7, 2020 to September 3, 2021 into seven stages. A total of more than 10,000 Microblog hot topics were collected, after screening and preprocessing, 5422 related topics are remained to help complete the Internet public opinion risk evaluation. The case study analysis results show that the number of days classified as moderate risk and above has reached more than 280. This proves that the local outbreak of COVID-19 will indeed increase the risk of Internet public opinion, and correlation analysis confirms that the level of public opinion risk is positively correlated with the severity of the epidemic in the real world. Furthermore, the effectiveness and advantages of the proposed method are verified by comparative analysis and sensitivity analysis. Finally, some effective public opinion management suggestions have been put forward. This paper can provide reference for the government to formulate or improve relevant strategies, and also has great significance for reducing the risk of Internet public opinion in social media.

Keywords: Internet public opinion; Risk grading; Local outbreak; COVID-19; MCDM/A; SMAA-FAHPSort II (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2022.102113

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