Communicating the Crisis: Study on the Local Government’s Twitter Accounts During the Covid-19 Pandemic in Indonesia

Keywords: Covid-19, Crisis Communication, Big Data, Social Media, Twitter, Local Government


Along with the increasing number of victims of COVID-19, the amount of information requested by the public on social media also continues to increase. The emergence of various hoaxes that can influence individual behavior is also an urgent reason for the government to come and contribute. Although the urgency of the government's presence on social media at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic has been recognized, not many studies have looked at this presence, especially whether their presence is beneficial. For this reason, the goal to be achieved in this research is whether local governments provide sufficient and appropriate information required by the Indonesian during the pandemic. This study analyzes the Twitter accounts of local governments in Indonesia that have implemented Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) by taking tweets for content analysis and replies, retweets, and likes, to see the stakeholder engagement index (SEI). The results of this study indicate that information about reporting on the situation is the content most commonly shared by local governments through their Twitter accounts. The findings also show that the Tangerang Regency Government Twitter account has the highest Stakeholder Engagement Index, indicating the high level of public participation in information shared by the government through Twitter social media accounts. Academically this research fills the gaps between communication streams in crises by providing the need for and availability of information that, in practical terms, can be used to guide the creation of social media content during a pandemic.


Download data is not yet available.


Acar, A. (2011). Twitter and natural disasters : Crisis communication lessons from the Japan tsunami. Crisis, April, 1–2.

Avery, E. J., & Graham, M. W. (2013). Political public relations and the promotion of participatory, transparent government through social media. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 7(4), 274–291.

Bellström, P., Magnusson, M., Pettersson, J. S., & Thorén, C. (2016). Facebook usage in a local government: A content analysis of page owner posts and user posts. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 10(4), 548–567. TG-12-2015-0061

Benny, G., Gill, S. S., & Moorthy, R. (2018). Disaster Communication in Managing Vulnerabilities. Jurnal Komunikasi, Malaysian Journal of Communication, 34(2), 51–66.

Bonson, E., Royo, S., & Ratkai, M. (2017). Facebook Practices in Western European Municipalities: An Empirical Analysis of Activity and Citizens’ Engagement. Administration & Society, 49(3), 320–347.

Bonsón, E., Royo, S., & Ratkai, M. (2015). Citizens’ engagement on local governments’ facebook sites. an empirical analysis: The impact of different media and content types in western europe. Government Information Quarterly, 32(1), 52–62.

Bonsón, E., Torres, L., Royo, S., & Flores, F. (2012). Local e-government 2 . 0 : Social media and corporate transparency in municipalities. Government Information Quarterly, 29(2), 123–132.

Bruns, A., Burgess, J., Crawford, K., & Shaw, F. (2012). #qldfloods and @QPSMedia: Crisis Communication on Twitter in the 2011 South East Queensland Floods. In ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation.

Chen, Q., Min, C., Zhang, W., Wang, G., Ma, X., & Evans, R. (2020). Unpacking the black box: How to promote citizen engagement through government social media during the COVID-19 crisis. Computers in Human Behavior, 110(March), 106380.

Ewart, J., & McLean, H. (2019). Best practice approaches for reporting disasters. Journalism, 20(12), 1573–1592.
FULK, J., STEINFIELD, C. W., SCHMITZ, J., & POWER, J. G. (1987). A Social Information Processing Model of Media Use in Organizations. Communication Research, 14(5), 529–552.

Graham, M. W., Avery, E. J., & Park, S. (2015). The role of social media in local government crisis communications. Public Relations Review, 41(3), 386–394.

Houston, J. (2012). Public disaster mental/behavioral health communication: Intervention across disaster phases. Journal of Emergency Management, 10(4), 283–292.

Houston, J. Brian, Hawthorne, J., Perreault, M. F., Park, E. H., Goldstein Hode, M., Halliwell, M. R., Turner McGowen, S. E., Davis, R., Vaid, S., McElderry, J. A., & Griffith, S. A. (2015). Social media and disasters: a functional framework for social media use in disaster planning, response, and research. Disasters, 39(1), 1–22.

Houston, J B, Hawthorne, J., Perreault, M. F., Park, E. H., Hode, M. G., Halliwell, M. R., McGowen, S. E. T., Davis, R., Vaid, S., McElderry, J. a, & Griffith, S. a. (2014). Social media and disasters: a functional framework for social media use in disaster planning, response, and research. Disasters, 39(1), 1–22.

Hua, J., & Shaw, R. (2020). Corona virus (Covid-19) “infodemic” and emerging issues through a data lens: The case of china. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(7).

Ishii, K., Lyons, M. M., & Carr, S. A. (2019). Revisiting media richness theory for today and future. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies, 1(2), 124–131.

Keim, M. E., & Noji, E. (2011). Emergent use of social media: a new age of opportunity for disaster resilience. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, 6(1), 47.

Kumar, S., Barbier, G., Ali Abbasi, M. A., & Liu, H. (2011). TweetTracker: An Analysis Tool for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief. Fifth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, 661–662.

Lindsay, B. R. (2011). Social Media and Disasters: Current Uses, Future Options and Policy Considerations. In Congressional Research Service Reports.

Liu, B. F., Fraustino, J. D., & Jin, Y. (2016). Social Media Use During Disasters. Communication Research, 43(5), 626–646.

Lundgren, R. E., & McMakin, A. H. (2009). Risk communication: A handbook for communicating environmental, safety, and health risks (L. Hanzo (ed.); IV). Wiley.

Mauroner, O., & Heudorfer, A. (2016). Social media in disaster management: How social media impact the work of volunteer groups and aid organisations in disaster preparation and response. International Journal of Emergency Management, 12(2), 196–217.

Mossberger, K., Wu, Y., & Crawford, J. (2013). Connecting citizens and local governments? Social media and interactivity in major U.S. cities. Government Information Quarterly, 30(4), 351–358.

Orso, D., Federici, N., Copetti, R., Vetrugno, L., & Bove, T. (2020). Infodemic and the spread of fake news in the COVID-19-era. European Journal of Emergency Medicine, 1.

Pulido, C. M., Villarejo-Carballido, B., Redondo-Sama, G., & Gómez, A. (2020). COVID-19 infodemic: More retweets for science-based information on coronavirus than for false information. International Sociology, 026858092091475.

Radecki, R. P., & Spiegel, R. S. (2020). Avoiding Disinformation Traps in COVID-19. Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Sáez Martín, A., Haro de Rosario, A., & Caba Pérez, M. D. C. (2015). Using Twitter for Dialogic Communication: Local Government Strategies in the European Union. Local Government Studies, 41(3), 421–444.

Santoso, A. D. (2017). Tweeting in Disaster Area: An Analysis of Tweets during 2016 Mayor Floods in Indonesia. Policy & Governance Review, 1(3), 178.

Santoso, A. D. (2019). Tweets Flooded in Bandung 2016 Floods: Connecting Individuals and Organizations to Disaster Information. Indonesian Journal of Geography, 51(3), 242–250.

Shereen, M. A., Khan, S., Kazmi, A., Bashir, N., & Siddique, R. (2020). COVID-19 infection: Origin, transmission, and characteristics of human coronaviruses. In Journal of Advanced Research (Vol. 24, pp. 91–98). Elsevier B.V.

Shih, P. C., Han, K., & Carroll, J. M. (2015). Using Social Multimedia Content to Inform Emergency Planning of Recurring and Cyclical Events in Local Communities. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 12(3), 627–652.

Takahashi, B., Tandoc, E. C., & Carmichael, C. (2015). Communicating on Twitter during a disaster: An analysis of tweets during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Computers in Human Behavior, 50, 392–398.

Taylor, B. M., Wells, G., Howell, G., & Raphael, B. (2012). The role of social media as psychological first aid as a support to community resilience building . The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 27(1), 20–26.

Xiao, Y., Huang, Q., & Wu, K. (2015). Understanding social media data for disaster management. Natural Hazards, 79(3), 1663–1679.

Yin, R. K. (2014). Cast Study Research: design and methods. Sage.
How to Cite
Musdalifah, F., Nasyaya, A., & Santoso, A. (2023). Communicating the Crisis: Study on the Local Government’s Twitter Accounts During the Covid-19 Pandemic in Indonesia. Ultimacomm: Jurnal Ilmu Komunikasi, 15(1), 77-94.