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Social Media Activism During COVID-19


In The COVID-19 social media infodemic, Cinelli et al. (2020) address the critical dissemination of information during the coronavirus pandemic. The research is based on the immense data analysis of the most commonly used social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, and Gab. The article is available on Cornell University’s platform, specifically in the section of Computer Science: Social and Information Networks. However, due to the relatively recent date of the examined topic and the pandemic’s continuance, Cinelli’s et al. (2020) COVID-19 e-print posted in March on arXiv is yet not peer-reviewed by this platform.

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Source Evaluation

Such extensive work by Italian researchers is used as one of the most comprehensive sources for discussing social media activism during COVID-19. Two leading authors of this article, Cinelli and Quattrociocchi, have solid profiles on the research platforms (Google Scholar). Cinelli is a member of the Italian National Research Council and Institute for Complex Systems, holding a Ph.D. level. Dr. Quattrociocchi is head of the Laboratory of Data and Complexity at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, working as Assistant Professor in Computer Science and is currently qualified for an associate professorship.

The other two researchers registered as the authors of this article, Ana Lucía Schmidt and Antonio Scala Ph.D., are qualified to endorse the source. They are prominent figures in the research field regarding Computational Social Science, Social Networks, and News Spreading (ResearchGate). Nonetheless, it cannot be used to guide clinical practice or for news media as established information without consulting the experts in the field. One of the supporting factors regarding the source’s credibility is the evident-based background information of five different social media networks that helped the authors develop multiple comparative tables, statistics, and diagrams.

Concerning the usefulness of the source, its primary purpose was to study the public engagement and interest in the world pandemic topic. The authors aimed at giving a differential assessment on the growth of discussion on a global scale for each analyzed platform and its users (Cinelli et al, 2002, p. 3). The researchers conducted a comparative analysis of five social media platforms during the pandemic health emergency to arrive at the established goal. Therefore, the article adds value to the project I am currently working on by evaluating users’ involvement and interest in the coronavirus and defining the progress of the discourse over time. It will help me prove my point of the adverse impact of social media activism during COVID-19 and determine the environment more susceptible to misinformation spread. In the case of addressing a counter-claim, Cinelli’s et al. (2020) source stated that both reliable and ambiguous information does not demonstrate different spreading patterns.


To conclude, the following analysis of the source is an important step in conducting my project about social media activism during the pandemic. Based on Cinelli’s et al. (2020) research, it is essential to comprehend the social dynamics behind content usage and social media. Such analysis helps develop more effective epidemic models and communication strategies considering social behavior during the COVID-19 crisis.


Ana Lucía Schmidt, Google Scholar. Web.

Antonio Scala, ResearchGate. Web.

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Cinelli, M., Quattrociocchi, W., Galeazzi, A., Valensise, C., Brugnoli, E., Schmidt, A., Zola, P., Zollo, F., & Scala, A. (2020). The COVID-19 social media infodemic. Cornell University, Web.

Matteo Cinelli, Google Scholar. Web.

Walter Quattrociocchi, Ph.D. Web.

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