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Presentation Time: 2:20-2:40
Home University: UNC-Chapel Hill
Research Mentor: Shikha Yadav, Program Coordinator
Program: ENABLE
Research Title: A Comprehensive Look at Covid-19 Data in Social Media

Social media has played a prevalent role in conveying news, updated data, and public sentiment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior research has been conducted in evaluating the impact and the effectiveness of sharing pandemic news and data via social media, specifically gauging the credibility and relevance of the shared news. This study aims to perform a general sentiment analysis of social media users to evaluate their perspectives and their responses to COVID-19 related news and statistics. Text mining functions were used to process and filter out tweets from April 2020 – June 2021, sort them by word usage, as well as group them by sentiment and connotation. Furthermore, various data visualization functions were also implemented to obtain a comprehensive look at Covid-19 tweet data, recurrent phrases, and suggested sentiments. The results showed that more than 60% of analyzed tweets carried a neutral sentiment, followed by approximately 25% positive and 15% negative sentiments. These results suggest that most covid-19 related tweets on social media are non-opinionated or pertain to the sharing of data and news, and that general worldwide sentiment shows a positive throughout the pandemic. More research is needed to ascertain the relationship between data sharing and public sentiment, as well as accommodate for further data that arises as the pandemic continues.