The Effect of Information and Education through Social Networks on the Level of Public Awareness during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Case Study: Tehran)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Policy Evaluation and STI Monitoring Department, National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP), Tehran, Iran

2 PhD., Student, Information and Knowledge Management Department, Faculty of Human Science, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University,Tehran, Iran


Objectives: The prevalence of Covid-19 has become a clinical threat to public and healthcare professionals worldwide since December 2019. To curb this pandemic, it is necessary to provide the public with accurate information and scientific findings as soon as possible. Considering the importance of social networks and their effective role in social communication and information transfer, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of information and education through social networks in increasing the level of awareness during the outbreak of coronavirus in society and to identify the information needs of people in this regard.
Methods: The present study is an applied survey. The research population is the people of Tehran. 384 citizens who use social networks were randomly selected by cluster sampling method from regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, and 21. Cochran's formula was used to determine the sample size and research data were collected using a researcher-made questionnaire. The validity of the questionnaire was formally assessed by experts in the field of knowledge and information science and the reliability was calculated using Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Finally, the collected data were entered into SPSS software and coded. K2, T, and Friedman tests were used to analyze the data.
Results: The results of the study show that many people in the study consider the use of social media in information and education very effective in increasing public awareness of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world. More than half of these people consider the presence of these networks to be very influential in their lives and believe that these networks can be a suitable and useful platform for information, education, and awareness, and many of them think that useful training and information are published in these networks. According to the findings, in using social networks, Instagram, Telegram, and WhatsApp are in the first to third ranks, respectively, and Soroush social network is in the last place.
Conclusions: People are interested in using social media to get information, education, and awareness of the coronavirus, and they believe that they receive useful information and training from these networks, but they are moderately confident in this information. Some of the information that is shared comes from other sources such as news sites, radio, television, etc., and people also share this information on social networks.


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