PACIS 2022 Proceedings

Paper Number

1051

Abstract

Existing content analysis literature on the virality of social media posts focuses on emotion and topics. During a disaster, a lack of attention to other psychological features rather than emotion may result in unsatisfactory social media content analysis. By referring to Terror Management Theory and information avoidance against materialism, we conducted a logistic regression study using COVID-19-related data collected on Weibo. We identified the negative effect of personal concern-related words on social media posts' virality and the effect of specific concerns varies in different stages of a disaster. Theoretically, our study contributes to adding literature on social media content analysis about virality. On practical implications, we provide guidance on the wording of business advertisements and government announcements on social media during a life-threatening disaster.

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