Understanding Public Opinion on using Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 Treatment via Social Media

Thuy Do, Du Nguyen, Anh Le, Anh Nguyen, Dong Nguyen, Nga Hoang, Uyen Le, Tuan Tran

2022

Abstract

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is used to prevent or treat malaria caused by mosquito bites. Recently, the drug has been suggested to treat COVID-19, but that has not been supported by scientific evidence. The information regarding the drug efficacy has flooded social networks, posting potential threats to the community by perverting their perceptions of the drug efficacy. This paper studies the reactions of social network users on the recommendation of using HCQ for COVID-19 treatment by analyzing the reaction patterns and sentiment of the tweets. We collected 164,016 tweets from February to December 2020 and used a text mining approach to identify social reaction patterns and opinion change over time. Our descriptive analysis identified an irregularity of the users’ reaction patterns associated tightly with the social and news feeds on the development of HCQ and COVID-19 treatment. The study linked the tweets and Google search frequencies to reveal the viewpoints of local communities on the use of HCQ for COVID-19 treatment across different states. Further, our tweet sentiment analysis reveals that public opinion changed significantly over time regarding the recommendation of using HCQ for COVID-19 treatment. The data showed that high support in the early dates but it significantly declined in October. Finally, using the manual classification of 4,850 tweets by humans as our benchmark, our sentiment analysis showed that the Google Cloud Natural Language algorithm outperformed the Valence Aware Dictionary and sEntiment Reasoner in classifying tweets, especially in the sarcastic tweet group.

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Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

Do T., Nguyen D., Le A., Nguyen A., Nguyen D., Hoang N., Le U. and Tran T. (2022). Understanding Public Opinion on using Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 Treatment via Social Media. In Proceedings of the 15th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies - Volume 4: HEALTHINF, ISBN 978-989-758-552-4, pages 631-639. DOI: 10.5220/0010884200003123


in Bibtex Style

@conference{healthinf22,
author={Thuy Do and Du Nguyen and Anh Le and Anh Nguyen and Dong Nguyen and Nga Hoang and Uyen Le and Tuan Tran},
title={Understanding Public Opinion on using Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 Treatment via Social Media},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 15th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies - Volume 4: HEALTHINF,},
year={2022},
pages={631-639},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0010884200003123},
isbn={978-989-758-552-4},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF

JO - Proceedings of the 15th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies - Volume 4: HEALTHINF,
TI - Understanding Public Opinion on using Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 Treatment via Social Media
SN - 978-989-758-552-4
AU - Do T.
AU - Nguyen D.
AU - Le A.
AU - Nguyen A.
AU - Nguyen D.
AU - Hoang N.
AU - Le U.
AU - Tran T.
PY - 2022
SP - 631
EP - 639
DO - 10.5220/0010884200003123