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Convosphere | Social Intelligence Digest | Edition 2

Privacy concerns surrounding Covid-19 tracking apps

With a third of the global population facing lockdown because of coronavirus, governments are actively looking for ways to relax movement restrictions while still keeping people safe. Apps to track symptoms and help scientists understand the spread of the virus have been rolled out in several countries. Although lauded by authorities and citizens alike, privacy concerns have been raised by critics, who fear users will be subject to intrusive surveillance. Have you downloaded any of the Covid-19 tracking apps? We’d love to hear your opinion.

Governor tweet sparks potato stockpiling race in South Korea

From loo rolls to pasta, there’s been an increasing demand for household basics in the face of coronavirus. In South Korea, the latest staple must-have is potatoes. The craze was sparked by a tweet by the governor of province Gangwon, in which he expressed his support of potato farmers unable to sell their goods following the closures of schools and restaurants. The tweet resulted in a race to buy the spuds, which before long was dubbed ‘pocketing’, a combination of ‘potato’ and ‘ticketing’. ‘Ticketing’ is the local term to describe the rush for K-pop concert tickets, and the Gangwon potatoes did indeed sell out as quickly as a BTS show, with a staggering 4,000 tons shifted in two weeks. Those lucky enough to get hold of a bag announced their success on social media, with some sharing their favourite potato-based recipes. Korean potato salad sandwich, anyone?

Quarantine ‘Tiger King’ memes

Streaming platforms are witnessing a huge rise in demand as restless people across the globe rely on in-home entertainment to get them through the quarantine. Unsurprisingly, the platforms have reported pandemic-related traffic surges, with Netflix forced to reduce picture quality to minimise stress on the system. Among the most popular shows to binge-watch is Tiger King, revolving around the eccentric former zoo-keeper and the shady underworld of his cat breeding venture. More bizarre than the premise of the show is the sheer amount of memes it has generated, perhaps an indication of the most common symptom of self-isolation: boredom! Some of the best memes are captured in this article.

Chinese talent show top trend on Weibo

Meanwhile, in China, talent show The Idol has become the talk of the town on local social media platforms. After premiering on 12th March on China’s top streaming service, iQiyi, there have been 6 billion discussions on Weibo linked to the official show hashtag (青春有你2). The current series features 100 fame-hungry girls, so called trainees, nine of which will be voted through by the public to form a brand new pop group. Similar to how we tracked sentiment and reputation score during Royal Ascot, the Convosphere team will be keeping a close eye on the conversation surrounding each trainee. Stay tuned to see if we can correctly predict who will be eliminated each week.

Speedy social analysis strategies

Lastly, don’t miss this article by The Social Intelligence Lab, in which four experts (including our Associate Director, Tamara Lucas) share their top tips for getting social analysis done in less time.

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