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Using Social Media to Reduce Health Impacts from Extreme Weathers: A Feasibility Study

Introduction: Extreme weathers due to climate change have exerted negative impacts on human health. Innovative knowledge dissemination strategies are necessary to reduce the negative impacts of extreme weathers.

Methods: We examined the feasibility of social media as a tool to disseminate scientific knowledge regarding extreme weathers to common people. For this purpose, we set up a Facebook (FB) community page, and analyzed various metrics to demonstrate its feasibility as a communication tool that can reach a large number of people in society rapidly.

Results: The FB community page was able to reach more than 12,000 viewers within a week. 78% of these viewers were females, and 63% of them aged between 18 and 24. Within New York State (NYS), we have reached viewers from more than 40 cities. Interestingly, we have also reached viewers from other states, and even countries beyond United States.

Discussion: Our results demonstrate that social media is a feasible technology to disseminate extreme weathers-related knowledge. However, the technology needs to be used properly for different social groups as target audience.


Ricky Leung

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