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Title: Local governments' use of social media during the COVID-19 pandemic: The case of Portugal
Authors: Padeiro, Miguel 
Bueno-Larraz, Beatriz
Freitas, Ângela 
Keywords: Social media; Facebook; E-disclosure; Municipalities; Health crisis management; COVID-19
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Elsevier
Project: UIDB/04084/2020 
Serial title, monograph or event: Government Information Quarterly
Volume: 38
Issue: 4
Abstract: While the use of social media by local governments has gained relevance in recent years, crises are critical situations that reinforce the need to reach citizens to disclose information, demonstrate the government's commitment, and increase the citizens' level of preparedness and awareness of resources. This paper examines the factors that influenced local governments' e-disclosure during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. To accomplish this objective, we systematically tracked every post published by the official Facebook page of 304 Portuguese municipalities between March 2 and July 5, 2020. The findings show that financial autonomy is the main predictor of e-disclosure, factors varied on the different phases of the pandemic's first wave, and sociodemographic factors became more prevalent as explanatory factors when the crisis worsened. Our study may help increase the level of preparedness during possible future crises. In particular, establishing communication strategies for prolonged public health crises, making financial resources available for the accomplishment of such strategies, and reducing the digital divide can contribute to more effective disclosure. Future research should explore the dynamics of disclosure during public health crises. This study also highlights the need to incorporate time in research that focuses on the determinants of e-disclosure that could also be tested in normal times.
ISSN: 0740624X
DOI: 10.1016/j.giq.2021.101620
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CEGOT - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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