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The Effects of Social Media on Spreading Panic during COVID-19 Pandemic in Bangladesh: A Study

Sauda Mubarak, Indrani Sarker, Nahid Salma, Sumaiya Shafayet Supti, Mizanur Rahman Zihad, Farhana Afrin Duti


Now-a-days, people are linked to social media from the moment they wake up till going to bed. Social media attempt to disseminate the information as quickly as possible. Since the first identified Covid-19 patient in Bangladesh, there has always been a sense of dread among the people. This influence people's mental health conditions miserably. The study is aimed to observe the fact that social media influences people’s mental condition and the transmission of COVID-19 fear in Bangladesh. Using an online questionnaire, 385 social media users were selected through convenient sampling. Significant variables were found out through ordinal logistic regression. The study shows, most of the participants were aged 15 to 25 years (n= 294, 76.4%), lived in urban (n=263, 68.3%) and 75.3% (n=290) of them used "Facebook" for gathering news related to COVID-19. Most of them had psychological effects (42.9%) due to the panic created by misinformation on social media and 82.6% (n= 318) felt the necessity of setting up filters for social media. The results show, using social media every day during COVID-19, having physical psyche effects of social media, reading mostly health news (COVID-19), spreading fear causing information about COVID-19 had higher significant effect on spreading fear among people. Social media had an impact on spreading fear and a significant negative influence on people's mental health during Covid-19. Filters need to be set up and people should verify before sharing any news in this pandemic.


COVID-19, Social media, Panic, Misinformation, Bangladesh.

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