Why DO citizens engage in government social media accounts during COVID-19 pandemic? a comparative study

Tahir Islam, Hu Meng, Abdul Hameed Pitafi, Abaid Ullah Zafar, Zaryab Sheikh, Xiaobei Liang, Muhammad Shujaat Mubarik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The worldwide COVID-19 outbreak that crushed the global economy and healthcare increased the public willingness to acquire more information and enthusiasm to engage online among billions of users through social networks. As more towns, cities, and regions turn to lockdown, government social media accounts (GSMAs) develop as a trustworthy source to obtain information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, investigating the determinants and consequences of citizens' participation behavior on GSMAs is essential. Drawing on the self-determination theory (SDT) and civic volunteer model (CVM), we examine the influence of motivational factors (i.e., intrinsic extrinsic) on citizens' participation behavior on GSMAs, which leads to online civic behavior. Comparative research between China and Pakistan is carried out using data collected through an online survey. This study shows that information-seeking, political benefits, self-development, altruism, and perceived reciprocity are the critical antecedents of citizens' participatory behavior on GSMAs in both countries, resulting in online civic behavior. Furthermore, moderating results reveal that perceived connectivity moderates the relationship between certain motivational factors (intrinsic and extrinsic) and citizens' participatory behavior on GSMAs, whereas trust in government moderates the relationship between participatory behavior on GSMAs and online civic behavior during COVID-19. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101619
JournalTelematics and Informatics
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Citizens Participatory Behavior on GSMAs
  • Extrinsic factor
  • Intrinsic Factor
  • Online Civic Behavior
  • Trust in Government


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