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User profiling and role evaluation of government microbloggers in the context of public emergencies

Lu An (Center for Studies of Information Resources, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Yan Shen (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Yanfang Tao (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Gang Li (Center for Studies of Information Resources, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Chuanming Yu (School of Information and Safety Engineering, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 14 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to profile the government microbloggers and evaluate their roles. The results can help improve the governments' response capability to public emergencies.

Design/methodology/approach

This study proposes the user profiling and role evaluation model of government microbloggers in the context of public emergencies. The indicators are designed from the four dimensions of time, content, scale and influence, and the feature labels are identified. Three different public emergencies were investigated, including the West Africa Ebola outbreak, the Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak and the Shandong vaccine case in China.

Findings

The results found that most government microbloggers were follower responders, short-term participants, originators, occasional participants and low influencers. The role distribution of government microbloggers was highly concentrated. However, in terms of individual profiles, the role of a government microblogger varied with events.

Social implications

The findings can provide a reference for the performance assessment of the government microbloggers in the context of public emergencies and help them improve their ability to communicate with the public and respond to public emergencies.

Originality/value

By analyzing the performance of government microbloggers from the four dimensions of time, content, scale and influence, this paper fills the gap in existing literature on designing the user profiling and role evaluation model of government microbloggers in the context of public emergencies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 72174153, 71921002, 71790612 and 71974202).

Citation

An, L., Shen, Y., Tao, Y., Li, G. and Yu, C. (2022), "User profiling and role evaluation of government microbloggers in the context of public emergencies", Online Information Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-10-2021-0509

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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