From women for women : The role of social media in online nonprofit activities during Wuhan lockdown

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-272
Journal / PublicationPublic Administration and Development
Issue number5
Online published9 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


The article examines the role of social media in mitigating information asymmetry and coordination problems during COVID-19 epidemic crisis. We use “Sisters-Fight-Epidemic” online volunteering project during the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, as a case to demonstrate how social media plays a role as a mechanism in linking multiple stakeholders and shaping their actions during the epidemic response. We show that social media facilitates the self-organizing processes of volunteers and develops the emergency information networks, therefore enabling a relatively efficient relief responses to the needs of epidemic victims particularly female medical workers. This article also identifies spontaneous online volunteering project as a new form of nonprofit organization and as a new emergent response group that can leverage the strengths of social media in disaster responses to enable effective coordination, initiate advocacy, and improve transparency of relief efforts. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • China, online volunteering, pandemic, social media