all Volume 1, Issue 2, 2021

The WHO’s Interest in its Communication Messages on (Covid-19) Pandemic via Facebook and Twitter Platforms

Dr. Rana Mezher Khalid
Dr. Layla Ahmad Jarrar – Middle East University

The study aims to identify the degree of interest of the World Health Organization (WHO) through social networks in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic on Facebook and Twitter platforms. The theory of media frameworks was implemented, and the content analysis was used as a tool for quantitative and qualitative analysis of the communicative messages of the organization. A deliberate sample was selected, which included all the messages of the World Health Organization during the period from the beginning of the disease until its declaration as a global pandemic, that is: during the period from 30/12/2019 – 11/3/2020, and this time period was divided into three phases as follows:

The study included all the messages of the World Health Organization during the period from the beginning of the disease until its declaration as a global pandemic, that is, during the period from 30/12/2019 – 11/3/2020, and this time period was divided into three phases according to the following:

  • The first stage: 30/12/2019- 22/1/2020
  • The second stage: 23/1/2020 -15/2/2020
  • The third stage: 16/2/1020- 11/3/2020

The study concluded with a set of results, the most important of which was that the percentage of the World Health Organization’s interest in the disease was remarkably different between the Facebook and Twitter platforms, and it was found in general, by studying the messages of the World Health Organization in dealing with Covid-19, that it did not give sufficient attention to warning of the disease in its beginnings, which missed the opportunity to take quick measures that could have helped contain the crisis and prevent the spread of the disease in all over the world, as the number of messages related to the disease reached its beginnings, i.e. during the period from 30/12/2019-22/1/2020 on the Facebook platform, was (11) messages only, compared to (64) on Twitter, as it turned out that the organization was interested in addressing the global elites and preferred them over the general public, as this was manifested by its lack of balance in communication between Twitter and Facebook platforms, where the greatest attention was focused on Twitter platform. The proportions of messages which were Related to Covid-19 on Facebook reached (42%) of the organization’s total messages, while this percentage was (68.8%) on Twitter. The percentage of messages that were sent by the organization and later proven incorrect on Facebook platform was (9.5%), while it reached only (2.1%) on Twitter.

The study came out with a number of recommendations, the most important of which was the need to take care of people equally, and not to distinguish between elites and the general public, in addition to not postponing taking the necessary measures to contain any disease from its beginning. The study also recommends adopting transparency to eliminate rumors, and focusing on warning messages before launching reassuring one in crisis situations and pandemics.

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