SHS (Humanities and Social Sciences) - MEDIACAM - Tracking trust and suspicion: Analyzing social media to sharpen COVID-19 public health responses in Cameroon

  • Funded by Agence nationale de recherche sur le sida et les hépatites virale [National Agency for AIDS Research] (ANRS)
  • Total publications:1 publications

Grant number: ANRS COV24

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Key facts

  • Disease

    COVID-19
  • start year

    2020
  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

    $215,243.84
  • Funder

    Agence nationale de recherche sur le sida et les hépatites virale [National Agency for AIDS Research] (ANRS)
  • Principle Investigator

    Pending
  • Research Location

    N/A
  • Lead Research Institution

    N/A
  • Research Category

    Policies for public health, disease control & community resilience

  • Research Subcategory

    Approaches to public health interventions

  • Special Interest Tags

    Gender

  • Study Subject

    Non-Clinical

  • Clinical Trial Details

    N/A

  • Broad Policy Alignment

    Pending

  • Age Group

    Unspecified

  • Vulnerable Population

    Unspecified

  • Occupations of Interest

    Unspecified

Abstract

How to promote acceptance, uptake, and adherence to public health measures for COVID-19 prevention and control? What are the most effective ways to address the underlying drivers of fear, anxieties, rumours, stigma regarding, and how to improve public knowledge, awareness, and trust during the response? In a context characterized by severe political frictions exacerbated by low level of trust in political leaders, this project provides an innovative approach to help fill these information gaps and assist both public health measures and refining media and communications efforts. This project will focus on issues of trust and its relationship with political authority in Cameroon. It will use a comprehensive approach drawing insights from anthropology (dynamics of blame and heroization), political sociology (how State-society relations are built and challenged), science studies (foundations of scientific authority and dynamics of controversies) and digital social science (uses of social media by lay public and activists). A special attention will be devoted to the plurality of voices on both scientific and policy issues and public reactions to contradictory information. A balanced combination of computational social science (network analysis, computational linguistics) physical ethnography, and a qualitative approach grounded in the anthropology of the web offers the perfect perspective to achieve our goals. Results from this research will directly inform policymaking during the pandemic and improve knowledge and awareness on the most effective ways to address the underlying drivers of fear, anxieties, rumours and stigma regarding COVID-19. Objective 1: Explore accusatory dynamics associated with COVID-19 by analysing the main figures of blame and heroes present in Twitter conversations in French, and in mainstream Anglophone media websites. Objective 2: Examine the links between digital and traditional media in Cameroon by studying conversations linked to news coverage of the epidemic, including comments posted in response to online articles, conversations posted on online forums, and sites and blogs directly linked from these comments. Objective 3: Inform policy-making and improve public knowledge on the most effective ways to address the underlying drivers of fear, anxieties and rumours by identifying the limits of "open science" in times of epidemics and the links between the use of scientific knowledge by governments and assessment on their "democratic" nature.

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Measuring dynamical systems on directed hypergraphs.