This Professor Says BTS Saved Many Lives During the Pandemic Lifestyle – 2 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Researcher from Dartmouth College, United States believes that the K-pop group BTS has saved many lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. This statement is based on studies that find that BTS has encouraged global public health improvements when world citizens were attacked by the deadly Covid virus.

In a paper entitled Parasocial diffusion: K-pop fandoms help drive COVID-19 public health messaging on social mediathe researchers sought to find the answer to the question “Who has the biggest voice on social media pushing for public health protocols, especially mask use?”

Using Twitter’s largest and most comprehensive public COVID-19 dataset, researchers analyzed 7 million tweets about mask use. They also looked at the use of K-pop specific hashtags: #BTS and #BTSArmy, as well as BlackPink and Twice, two other most popular K-pop groups on Twitter.

Photo: In this video grab provided by CBS and the Recording Academy, BTS performs “Dynamite” at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. (CBS/Recording Academy via AP)

The researchers’ findings show that the World Health Organization (WHO) has even taken advantage of BTS’s popularity as part of its communication strategy in conveying public health messages regarding COVID-19.

There were 16 tweets from health officials containing BTS, most of them from WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. In total, the 16 tweets generated almost 234,600 retweets. In comparison, another 2,140 tweets from Tedros that did not mention BTS generated 282,650 retweets.

The 16 tweets that mentioned BTS had almost the same impact (84% of retweet value) as the 2,140 tweets without K-pop. So, tweets mentioning BTS garnered 111 times more virality or retweets.

The researchers also looked at the level of mask use on Twitter with and without BTS in all countries that use Twitter, including assessing the level of tweeting in a country compared to its population.

It turns out that the increase in virality between retweets with K-pop compared to retweets without K-pop is greatest in the southern region, including Southeast Asia and South America, which, as explained by the researchers, are regions that are usually underserved by global retweets based on in the West.

“There has been a lot of criticism about activism on social media; however, to provide assistance to COVID-19 patients in South Korea, BTS fans donated ticket refunds from BTS concerts that were canceled due to the pandemic, this shows that the potential of fandom should not be underestimated,” said professor of Quantitative Social Sciences at Dartmouth College, Herbert Chang,

“Fandom can be a powerful catalyst for collective action online and offline,” Chang said. “They can produce interventions on a global scale.”

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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