The COVID-19 pandemic is a social emergency, as much as a medical one. The pandemic, which is growing out of control in most of the world’s countries, is straining health resources, economies, trust, and the fabric of society. To mitigate the spread, many countries and municipalities have instituted a patchwork of social distancing measures, including travel bans, quarantines, school closures, event cancellations and wholesale lockdowns. People around the world have turned to social media en masse for information about the pandemic, and also to express their feelings and opinions. To facilitate research into the social dimension of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are releasing to the research community a dataset containing tweets related to Twitter discussions about COVID-19. We hope that the data will enable the study of online conversation dynamics in the context of a global outbreak of unprecedented proportions and implications.
This dataset could help track scientific information about the coronavirus, as well as misinformation and unverified rumors, and also help understand social response to the pandemic, including fear and panic, and much more. Ultimately, we hope that this dataset will contribute towards enabling informed solutions and prescribing targeted policy interventions to fight — -and prevent — -this global crisis.
Emily Chen, Kristina Lerman, Emilio Ferrara