‘sentiment analysis’ on facebook reveals filipinos’ online concerns amid pandemic

- Rizal Raoul S. Reyes

Arecent study of publicly available Facebook data from the Philippine­s determined the top sentiments of Filipinos between March 17, 2020, three days after the start of the first lockdown orders in the country, and January 31, 2021.

According to, a research and campaigns firm that uses big data analytics, education was highly discussed among the country’s 80 million Facebook users between the study period, as the topic tallied 12.7 million data points, or total shares, posts, comments and reactions. the top Facebook posts on education relate to the deaths of two female students, posted separately on Facebook by the national Union of Students in the Philippine­s (NUSP).

eero Brillantes, chief executive officer of, said the sentiment analysis reflect the serious problem of mental health of students, and the digital divide between students from poor families and living remote areas and those from affluent families living in urban areas.

“the sentiment analysis on Facebook data points on education during the pandemic can be a critical tool to provide guidance and influence decisions of policy-makers to address the pressing issues on education,” Brillantes said.

the post on the death of a 21-year-old female student from Iriga city on September 12, 2020 tallied the highest data points at 196,834, of which 95.8 percent is “sad” reaction. the victim reportedly complained about the lack of digital gadget for learning, and Internet connectivi­ty.

the death of a 20-year-old student from capiz State University, who died while searching for Internet signal earned the second-highest data points at 148,089, of which 83.8 percent is “sad” reaction.

Meanwhile, the post on “10 Hail Marys campaign” of the Quiapo church on August 12, 2020 earned 77,941 combined “love” and “like” data points. this is widely shared after bishops called on the faithful, including those from catholic schools to pray 10 Hail Mary’s daily from August 15 to September 15 last year.

the Facebook post about 103 students given stipend by the Mariano Marcos State University in May 9 last year earned the highest “love” reaction. conversely, scoring the highest number of “angry” reactions was news on the government’s decision to hold face-to-face classes in places with low covid-19 cases.

the Department of education (Deped) is the main influencer on the topic education during covid-19 pandemic, with 401 posts over the same period, followed by news sites GMA news and ABS-CBN news that came second and third, respective­ly.

Vice President Leni robredo’s version of State of the nation address in July last year, titled “Pahayag ni VP Leni robredo: Ulat, Mungkahi Ukol sa Pandemya, at Mensahe ng Pag-asa,” earned 50 percent “love” from its nearly 100,000 reactions. the post on Sona appeared in robredo’s six posts, which earned 40 to 50 percent “love” reactions for each post.

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