This study showed that government agencies typically use social media for informational purposes, but that they may want to adopt a more empathic style in risk communication to improve audience’s interactivity and trust of messages.
Social media is a common channel of COVID-19 communication by both individuals and governments. It can help assess public responses to policy changes and risk perceptions. Government agencies typically use social media platforms for one-way communication focused strictly on information whereas individuals use social media for emotional responses such as empathy or blame. Individuals’ responses, however, may affect governmental responses and encourage government to adapt a more empathic style in risk communication to improve public trust and credibility.