6 May 2020

China, US feature in Pacific perceptions of Covid19

6:59 am on 6 May 2020

A monitoring survey of key social media groups across eight Pacific nations has shown how China and the United States are a key part of conversations about Covid-19 in the region.

Australian researcher Vipul Khosra said the first two months of monitoring information and content across more than 20 social media groups and thousands of tweets in February and March showed trending mentions around China.

"There was some of China. It was more on the positive than the negative. So positive in terms of what the Chinese government was providing, particularly in terms of PPE, protective equipment that was coming into the reason, but also as the original source of the virus."

He said there's already indications the April and May research findings are likely to show a spike in mentions of the United States.

The Pacific analysis covers Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Themes of the research highlight positive and negative trends as well as information gaps.