Research Article
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Published Online: 14 December 2020

#Ebola: Emergency Risk Messages on Social Media

Publication: Health security
Volume 18, Issue Number 6

Abstract

Public health threats require effective communication. Evaluating effectiveness during a situation that requires emergency risk communication is difficult, however, because these events require an immediate response and collecting data may be secondary to more immediate needs. In this article, we draw on research analyzing the effectiveness of social media messages during times of imminent threat and research analyzing the emergency risk communication conceptual model in order to propose a method for evaluating emergency risk communication on social media. We demonstrate this method by evaluating 2,915 messages sent by local, state, and federal public health officials during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in the United States. The results provide empirical support for emergency risk communication and identify message strategies that have the potential to increase exposure to official communication on social media during future public health threats.

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Information & Authors

Information

Published In

cover image Health Security
Health security
Volume 18Issue Number 6December 2020
Pages: 461 - 472
PubMed: 33326333

History

Published online: 14 December 2020
Published in print: December 2020
Accepted: 4 May 2020
Revision received: 22 April 2020
Received: 17 December 2019

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Sarah C. Vos [email protected]
Sarah C. Vos, PhD, is a Lecturer, Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health; and Jeannette Sutton, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Department of Communication, College of Communication and Information; both at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. C. Ben Gibson, PhD, is an Associate Sociologist, RAND, Washington, DC. Carter T. Butts, PhD, is a Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA. The views presented here represent the views of the authors, not of the National Science Foundation.
Jeannette Sutton
Sarah C. Vos, PhD, is a Lecturer, Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health; and Jeannette Sutton, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Department of Communication, College of Communication and Information; both at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. C. Ben Gibson, PhD, is an Associate Sociologist, RAND, Washington, DC. Carter T. Butts, PhD, is a Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA. The views presented here represent the views of the authors, not of the National Science Foundation.
C. Ben Gibson
Sarah C. Vos, PhD, is a Lecturer, Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health; and Jeannette Sutton, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Department of Communication, College of Communication and Information; both at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. C. Ben Gibson, PhD, is an Associate Sociologist, RAND, Washington, DC. Carter T. Butts, PhD, is a Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA. The views presented here represent the views of the authors, not of the National Science Foundation.
Carter T. Butts
Sarah C. Vos, PhD, is a Lecturer, Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health; and Jeannette Sutton, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Department of Communication, College of Communication and Information; both at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. C. Ben Gibson, PhD, is an Associate Sociologist, RAND, Washington, DC. Carter T. Butts, PhD, is a Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA. The views presented here represent the views of the authors, not of the National Science Foundation.

Notes

Address correspondence to: Sarah C. Vos, PhD, Lecturer, Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506 [email protected]

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