Research on Formation Factors of Infodemic in the Internet Environment

Authors

  • Yu SUN Communication University of China
  • Xiao CHEN Communication University of China

Keywords:

Corona Virus Disease 2019, Infodemic, Formation Factors, Social Media

Abstract

The infodemic is a secondary epidemic in the information environment that accompanies the Corona Virus Disease 2019(COVID-19) epidemic. This article focuses on the development process from the epidemic information to the infodemic and the factors that affect the formation of the infodemic in the social media environment. The infodemic can be seen as a complex field of public opinion driven by the epidemic of infectious diseases and wrapped around the content of the epidemic. In this field, the authenticity of information is difficult to distinguish, causing panic and anxiety in people's hearts. Taken together, the content of the infodemic mainly includes the ordinary epidemic information and the rumors. Ordinary epidemic information refers to accurate, relevant content that people need to understand after major public health emergencies. Rumors arise when information disclosure is insufficient or information disclosure is overloaded and exceeds the public's ability to bear. It is easy to spread widely in a social media environment where the gatekeeper mechanism is not perfect. The two are jointly structured into a specific public media opinion field, which has its relative autonomy and logical relationship in social media. The infodemic constitutes a complex field of public opinion, and the compound effect of its key elements- time and channels- promotes the formation of the infodemic. On the one hand, time is a significant factor that affects the construction of the infodemic. With time, the infodemic is at various stages of development, showing different development characteristics. On the other hand, social media's development and popularization have become a channel factor for the infodemic. The article summarizes the various development stages of the infodemic and the role played by social media and provide a reference for the prevention and control of the infodemic: The infodemic has a particular impact on the development of the infectious disease epidemic itself, the regular operation of the social system, government control, and public psychology. Effective and targeted measures must be taken in time; otherwise, the infodemic will become more complicated and severe.

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Published

2021-02-28