RAPID: Influencing Young Adults’ Science Engagement and Learning with COVID-19 Media Knowledge Gap Study #1 – Twitter Misinformation Study

Friday, July 30, 2021
Resource Type:
Research Case Study | Research | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Websites, Mobile Apps, and Online Media
Adults | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists
Health and medicine
KQED, Inc., Texas Tech University

This collaborative research project between KQED, a public media organization serving the San Francisco Bay Area, Texas Tech University and Rockman et al conducted research to study how best to provide effective COVID-19 science news and social media content for young adult audiences.

To start the work, four “Knowledge Gap” studies – Twitter Misinformation, Mask Wearing Messaging, Germ Knowledge and Conceptual Mapping – as well as social media testing were conducted to address our research question: How could COVID-19 coverage be designed to best inform, engage and educate millennials and younger audiences about the science of virus transmission and prevention?

A Twitter Misinformation study was conducted to understand major COVID-19 misinformation narratives on Twitter discussed in the San Francisco Bay Area, and how they compared to the United States as a whole from Mar. 1 - Oct. 20, 2020.  To find the answers, we worked with data analysts at Brandwatch (social listening tool) and captured Twitter conversations around COVID-19 in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the U.S. between March 1 and Oct. 20, 2020. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The study confirmed what kind of misinformation was being shared online and knowledge gaps people had during the pandemic.  
  • Emphasized the importance of doing more research on COVID-19 knowledge gaps.
  • News organizations need to continue to create content that is informative, accurate, timely, and reliable in order to fill knowledge gaps in our communities about the virus.
Funding Program: 
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Team Members

Sue Ellen McCannPrincipal Investigator
Sevda ErisSevda ErisCo-Principal Investigator
Asheley LandrumAsheley LandrumCo-Principal Investigator

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