Social Versus Physical Distancing: Analysis of Public Health Messages at the Start of COVID-19 Outbreak in Malaysia Using Natural Language Processing

Sarah Flora, Samson Juan and Suhaila, Saee and Fitri Suraya, Mohamad (2022) Social Versus Physical Distancing: Analysis of Public Health Messages at the Start of COVID-19 Outbreak in Malaysia Using Natural Language Processing. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Computational Science and Technology, 28-29 August 2021, Online Conference.

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Abstract

The study presents an attempt to analyse how social media netizens in Malaysia responded to the calls for ``Social Distancing'' and ``Physical Distancing'' as the newly recommended social norm was introduced to the world as a response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The pandemic drove a sharp increase in social media platforms' use as a public health communication platform since the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia in April 2020. We analysed thousands of tweets posted by Malaysians daily between January 2020 and August 2021 to determine public perceptions and interactions patterns. The analysis focused on positive and negative reactions and the interchanges of uses of the recommended terminologies ``social distancing'' and ``physical distancing''. Using linguistic analysis and natural language processing, findings dominantly indicate influences from the multilingual and multicultural values held by Malaysian netizens, as they embrace the concept of distancing as a measure of global public health safety.

Item Type: Proceeding (Paper)
Additional Information: COVID-19
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social media analytics, Natural language processing, Linguistic analysis, Public health communication, COVID-19 pandemic, Social media, Sentiment analysi
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology
Depositing User: Dr Sarah Samson Juan
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2022 03:09
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2022 00:58
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/38180

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