social media

Communicating Food Safety via the Social Media: The Role of Knowledge and Emotions on Risk Perception and Prevention

Yi Mou, Carolyn A. Lin

This study examined the Chinese public’s use of Weibo (a microblog platform) and their cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses to a series of food safety crises. Based on a sample of 1,360 adult Weibo users across China, the study found that Weibo use contributed to cognitive and behavioral responses to food safety concerns, but access to other online and off-line news and information outlets was largely irrelevant. Emotional response toward the food safety incidents was a stronger predictor of both food safety risk perception and prevention action, relative to food safety incident awareness and factual awareness. Theoretical and social implications of study findings are discussed.



Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network

Richard Van Noorden

Giant academic social networks have taken off to a degree that no one expected even a few years ago. A Nature survey explores why.


Public health programs as surrogates for social action in Suriname, South America

Daniel Peplow, Sarah Augustine

This paper addresses the merits of public health activism that advocates for social change in which health is the outcome of interest. We acknowledge that while efforts at the individual level are important, social network models consider the underlying mechanisms that lie outside the public health sector. This paper considers the inequitable health of Indigenous people who bear a disproportionate share of the negative health consequences due to economic development programs that follow an assimilation model. This paper discusses a combination of theoretical constructs to understand and solve the problems at hand. It concludes that while the attention paid to technological and behavioral solutions at the individual level yields important health outcomes, attention should also be paid to structural causes that address social, political and economic barriers to prevent disease, disability and premature death.


Food crisis coverage by social and traditional media: A case study of the 2008 Irish dioxin crisis

Liran Shan, Áine Regan, Aoife De Brún, Julie Barnett, Maarten C. A. van der Sanden, Patrick Wall, Áine McConnon

The world of communication has changed significantly in the last decade as a result of the evolution of social media. Food crisis managers and communicators should be cognizant of the messages presented to the public by all media channels during a crisis. Using the 2008 Irish dioxin contamination incident as an example, a quantitative content analysis was carried out to investigate the relationship between social and traditional media. Messages published in printed newspapers (n = 141), blogs and forums (n = 107), and Twitter (n = 68) were analysed to investigate sourcing practice, story topic and use of tone. Results revealed that traditional media relied on diverse offline sources in reporting a wide range of topics. In comparison, social media responded faster and diminished faster, using offline and online media news messages as the primary sources in reporting very limited topics. No significant difference was found in the presence of negative tone across media.