Assessing views towards energy sources with social media data: The case of nuclear energy in the UAE

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Insights from the analysis of views towards energy sources are of paramount importance for the setting of successful energy policies, especially in instances where the public might be reluctant towards certain projects’ implementations. This work presents an analysis of social media comments data given in response to posts around the connection to the grid of a nuclear plant reactor in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We assessed comments on Facebook posts of local and international media, as well those written in response to a post of a social media influencer. We extracted the main themes and performed sentiment analysis. The results indicate the presence of mixed views towards nuclear energy when focusing on comments on international media’s posts as well as on the social media influencer’s post considered, whilst they were very positive when assessing comments to local media. All in all, nuclear waste and previous nuclear accidents appear to be as the top of the mind; at the same time, solar energy is often suggested in the comments as a viable energy source for the UAE. Implications for the communication of nuclear energy developments in social media are discussed. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).
This article is licensed under Creative Commons License and full text is openly accessible in CUD Digital Repository. The version of the scholarly record of this article is published in Processes (2021), accessible online through this link
Climate change, Nuclear energy, Renewable energy, Social media
Contu, D., Elshareif, E. E., & Gurrib, I. (2021). Assessing views towards energy sources with social media data: The case of nuclear energy in the UAE. Processes, 9(11).