Malaysian Youth, Social Media Following, and Natural Disasters: What Matters Most to Them?

© Media Watch 10 (3) 508-521, 2019
ISSN 0976-0911 E-ISSN 2249-8818
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2019/v10i3/49690

Malaysian Youth, Social Media Following, and Natural Disasters: What Matters Most to Them?

Nurzali Ismail, Jamilah Ahmad, Shuhaida Md. Noor, & Jayslyn Saw
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia


This study attempted to understand youth’s social media following during natural disasters. It investigated Malaysian youth’s perception about the importance of immediacy, trust, and accuracy of social media news and information during natural disasters. This study found that youth prefer to consume social media news and information during natural disasters such as flooding, landslides, and haze. This is mainly contributed by the immediacy of news and information on social media. Besides immediacy, youth also value trust and accuracy of social media news and information during natural disasters. As the findings of this study revealed, youth are more inclined to become followers to social media creators who have a high level of trust and whom they believe can provide accurate natural disasters news and information. Hence, it is crucial that the authority and news organizations to provide natural disasters news on social media that is timely and accurate.

Keywords:   Social media, natural disasters, accuracy, immediacy, trust


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Nurzali Ismail (P.h.D., Monash University, Australia, 2015) is the Dean of the School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Jamilah Ahmad (P.h.D., Deakin University, Australia, 2005) is a university professor at the School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Shuhaida Md. Noor
(P.h.D., the University of Sydney, Australia, 2009) is a senior lecturer at the School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Jayslyn Saw is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia