Evaluating YouTube as a source of information on COVID-19: analysis with latent Dirichlet allocation method.

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The global impact of COVID-19 pandemic has gained momentum rapidly. People have little information about SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus). Internet has become a frequently used tool to obtain information in recent years, while YouTube is one of the popular sources of information with many videos on its platform. This study aims to identify the topics regarding Coronavirus that people learned about on YouTube. The videos about Coronavirus were also evaluated in terms of the reliability of their source of information.In total, 160 videos on Coronavirus that had 500,000 or more views were analysed. The latent Dirichlet allocation method was used in the process of identifying the topics that were then compared in terms of video parameters. The reliability of the source of information provided by videos was assessed with a modified DISCERN tool.A proportion of 15.6 % of these videos had a scientific content, while 45 % of these videos were about the process entailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In terms of video reliability, the difference between video types was found to be significant; videos with scientific content had more reliable sources of information (p<0.001).It has been determined that the videos about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, and those with scientific content have the most reliable source of information on Coronavirus (Tab. 5, Fig. 1, Ref. 35). Text in PDF www.elis.sk Keywords: coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, latent Dirichlet allocation, information, YouTube.

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Authors: A Doganer, Z J Zhang