In these uncertain times, it’s important that we share kindness and the right information especially with those who need it. Twitter has played a critical role in keeping Filipinos entertained, connected, and in amplifying authoritative information from credible sources. It is where people get real-time updates first on vaccination drives or quarantine measures and also a place where communities help and inspire each other through gratitude, and cautious optimism.
In the Philippines, there were more than 10 million Covid-19 related Tweets between March 2020 to August 2021. A deeper dive also reveals how the conversations around the topic evolved as they discover something new while on lockdown or as they learn to navigate these uncertain times and beyond. Here are the top Covid-19 related hashtags in the Philippines from March 2020 to August 2021.
Here are some of the top trends and Tweets that have shaped these conversations.
Lifting spirits in the face of adversity
Filipinos are using Twitter to express their gratitude for the frontliners who are battling against the pandemic, just like this Tweet from Tita Nurse (@titanursemnl) which is one of the top COVID-19 related Tweets. Despite the distance, Tweets serve as the bridge that connects the community and the way to amplify support and appreciation.
Thank you frontliners 💕 pic.twitter.com/ptS2UxQIwF
— Tita nurse 🩺 (@titanursemnl) March 30, 2020
Been ia this morning since me and my family has been preparing meals for our food drive para sa frontliners natin at a hospital in Manila. We'll be feeding a total of 350 frontliners 🤗
Medyo onti nga lang compared to other food drives but still here's our little thank you ✨ pic.twitter.com/LWP6xtCubw
— chris is semi ia (@wonly_yoo) March 31, 2021
Showing a united front
Apart from gratitude, Filipinos also go to Twitter to call for unity and spark discussions on relevant and prevailing issues. Kayle’s (@salitangkalye) Tweet is an example of how the community demonstrates its commitment to protecting their community and encouraging others to do their civic duty.
Frontliners don’t need cheesy tribute videos. They need hazard pay, risk allowances, free shuttles, quality PPEs, temporary housing, and just compensation for their and their families’ sacrifices.
— Kayle (@salitangkalye) June 12, 2020
Thankfully got vaccinated today! We highly encourage people to get vaccinated once it becomes available in your area.
Madaming ayaw magpabakuna dahil sa takot din. Educate lang natin sila na may symptoms talaga tulad ng body aches and lagnat, tulad kung magpabakuna ang bata. pic.twitter.com/rXPcSYPb2Y
— cai🥑 (@iamCairee) March 25, 2021
Despite the onset of cases and numerous #lockdowns, Filipinos show a united front by using Tweets such as #wehealasone and #stayhome to remind people that there is a community that looks after the welfare of others.
Staying informed in evolving circumstances
Twitter is the place to get information as it unfolds, and Filipinos actively share the information through Retweets or by sparking their own conversation so it will reach more people. Anyone, be it the media, industry leaders, and citizens, can lead or share information so it’s important to amplify those that came from credible sources or what is truly relevant to the public.
For example, medical experts such as Dr. Edsel Salvana (@EdselSalvana) uses Twitter to share his knowledge as an infectious disease physician and other useful information to encourage people to seek proper medical attention.
Please don't take hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) plus Azithromycin for #COVID19 UNLESS your doctor prescribes it. Both drugs affect the QT interval of your heart and can lead to arrhythmias and sudden death, especially if you are taking other meds or have a heart condition.
— Dr. Edsel Salvana (@EdselSalvana) March 21, 2020
Mental health is equally important in dealing with a spectrum of diseases, one of which is TB. No shame in being diagnosed with it, let’s all help each other heal and end the stigma towards a #TBFreePH
Visit https://t.co/UF3pAxC9LA or check out the FB page of #TBFreePH pic.twitter.com/V2LJ3u7UvL
— Dr. Gia Sison (@giasison) August 20, 2021
Protecting the health & safety of conversations
Not all information, however, is equal – and especially in these uncertain and ever-changing times. Twitter’s top priority is to serve the public conversation—and recognized in early 2020 that people need reliable information from credible sources now more than ever, Twitter implemented Covid-19 misinformation policy. To date, Twitter has challenged 11.7 million accounts, suspended 1,496 accounts, and removed over 43,010 pieces of content worldwide.
Moreover, Twitter has also embarked on a number of partnerships and initiatives to support Filipinos with timely, accurate information as the nation learns to navigate COVID-19 together. These include:
- Covid-19 Search Prompt: Partnered with the Department of Health (@DOHgovph) and WHO Philippines (@WHOPhilippines) point people to DOH’s website and WHO Philippines’ Twitter account.
- Covid-19 Events Page: Real-time credible and official information about Covid-19 from authoritative government agencies, public officials, civil society, and media.
- #StayHome emoji – Global effort with WHO to launch #StayHome emoji as part of #WorldHealthDay 2020. Promoted trend with WHO for #HealthyAtHome in the Philippines.
Staying home? Join our new challenge & show us what you'll do to be #HealthyAtHome!
Here are some ideas to stay healthy:
More ideas in the thread below 👇pic.twitter.com/f9adab39Ci
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 15, 2020