COVID-19 has caused severe damage to all nations across the world. Some governments enforced strict regional or nationwide lockdowns to control the spread of the virus. Other factors such as infodemic have also affected individuals. Accordingly, this empirical study investigates the impact of enforced social isolation on individuals’ interaction with online news and their emotional expressions as opposed to voluntary social isolation. This paper tackles the investigation using a natural experiment design and data from the Facebook pages of major local news media from two countries with opposing social isolation strategies. The findings show that enforced social isolation leads to a lower level of interaction with online news. Results further show individuals are more likely to express their anger while the other types of emotions are likely to be expressed less in a lockdown. This paper presents important contributions and implications.
Khobzi, Hamid, "Enforced versus Voluntary Social Isolation and User’s Interaction with Online News" (2022). PACIS 2022 Proceedings. 13.
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