Online COVID-19 diaries are helping people cope. They’re also a research gold mine

Sean Young, an associate professor at UCLA and UC Irvine who studies digital behavior and prediction technology, said such social media sharing is to be expected during a health crisis like this, especially when there’s distrust of leaders and the healthcare system. … The daily documentations aren’t just useful to social media users. Young said researchers have been mining the internet for data like [Jason] Kirin’s digital journals for various research projects that are helping healthcare workers tackle the coronavirus crisis.