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In Computers in human behavior ; h5-index 125.0

The outbreak of information epidemic in crisis events, with the channel effect of social media, has brought severe challenges to global public health. Combining information, users and environment, understanding how emotional information spreads on social media plays a vital role in public opinion governance and affective comfort, preventing mass incidents and stabilizing the network order. Therefore, from the perspective of the information ecology and elaboration likelihood model (ELM), this study conducted a comparative analysis based on two large-scale datasets related to COVID-19 to explore the influence mechanism of sentiment on the forwarding volume, spreading depth and network influence of information dissemination. Based on machine learning and social network methods, topics, sentiments, and network variables are extracted from large-scale text data, and the dissemination characteristics and evolution rules of online public opinions in crisis events are further analyzed. The results show that negative sentiment positively affects the volume, depth, and influence compared with positive sentiment. In addition, information characteristics such as richness, authority, and topic influence moderate the relationship between sentiment and information dissemination. Therefore, the research can build a more comprehensive connection between the emotional reaction of network users and information dissemination and analyze the internal characteristics and evolution trend of online public opinion. Then it can help sentiment management and information release strategy when emergencies occur.

Luo Han, Meng Xiao, Zhao Yifei, Cai Meng


COVID-19, Emotional response, Information authority, Information dissemination, Information richness, Topic influence