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PNNL Taps Twitter to Determine National Perspectives on Covid-19 Response

In addition to tracking active diseases, like Covid-19, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) scientists are also tracking public reaction to the Covid-19 threat by data mining and analyzing four million tweets a day related to the pandemic. WatchOwl, a program funded by PNNL, is part of a broader research program at the laboratory to analyze social media to improve the nation’s emergency response, disaster recovery, and critical infrastructure protection. The PNNL team examines the sources of social media posts, assesses their trustworthiness and intent of the posts, along with audience reactions and subsequent actions. The team collected over five million posts related to Covid-19 between March and July and they intend to bring the data current by the end of September.