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Creation of fear in an online environment: a content analysis of public reaction to Donald Trump’s information regarding COVID-19

Faculty Advisor




pandemics, fear, panic buying, social media, Twitter, COVID-19

Abstract (summary)

This study examined public reactions on Twitter about Donald Trump’s messages regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, which created fear in the public, therefore promoting an increase in panic buying. A content analysis of 52 relevant tweets between March 16 and April 3 identified several themes of public reactions to the messages that were transmitted by Donald Trump about COVID-19, including: incompetence, harm, untrustworthiness, political agenda, misinformation, distraction, lack of empathy, and the dismissal of solving panic buying. The most prevalent theme was the incompetence of Donald Trump, which created fear; therefore panic buying increased among the public.

Publication Information

Cowan, Katie. 2020. "Creation of Fear in an Online Environment: A Content Analysis of Public Reaction to Donald Trump’s Information Regarding COVID-19." Crossing Borders: Student Reflections on Global Social Issues 2(1). doi:10.31542/cb.v2i1.1988


Item Type

Student Article




Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)