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Public opinion dissemination on mobile internet- a case of Ebola

Xiwei Wang (Department of Information Management, School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun, China)
Dan Zhao (School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun, China and School of Economics and Management, Northeast Electric Power University, Jilin, China)
Mengqing Yang (School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun, China)
Lian Duan (Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, USA)
Meng Meng Xiang (School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun, China)
Qiuyan Guo (School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun, China)

Information Discovery and Delivery

ISSN: 2398-6247

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to improve disaster management. Social media, particularly microblog, has become a new platform for public opinion dissemination. However, few studies have been conducted to explore the structure of public opinions, the approaches for facilitating the spread of public opinions and the results of public opinion dissemination in the context of mobile internet for the purpose of improving disaster management.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper chooses Ebola as the research topic and extracts 14,735 Ebola-related data items from Sina Microblogs to examine the information nodes of public opinion and the characteristics of propagation paths on mobile internet. Particularly, nodes of public opinion between mobile terminals and non-mobile terminals are compared.

Findings

The results of this paper reveal the characteristics of public opinion propagation on mobile internet and verify the effectiveness of public opinion propagation on mobile internet. This study shows that public opinions propagate quickly, widely and efficiently and further generate great impacts on mobile internet.

Research limitations/implications

The methods used in this study can be useful for the government agencies and other relevant organizations to monitor public opinions, identify issues and problems proactively and develop strategies in a more efficient manner to improve disaster management.

Practical implications

The results of this paper are helpful for related departments to monitor public opinions and to further improve disaster management.

Originality/value

This paper explores the mechanism of public opinion dissemination on mobile internet and further investigates how to improve disaster management through a case study related to Ebola.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the editor and the referees for their invaluable comments and suggestions. This research is supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under Project (71673108) and the construction project of Top Discipline of Jilin University.

Citation

Wang, X., Zhao, D., Yang, M., Duan, L., Xiang, M.M. and Guo, Q. (2017), "Public opinion dissemination on mobile internet- a case of Ebola", Information Discovery and Delivery, Vol. 45 No. 2, pp. 87-100. https://doi.org/10.1108/IDD-02-2017-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited