COVID-19 Research

COVID-19 research 

This page consolidates my COVID-19 related research, collaborations, writing, and press.

The researcher

Dr Crystal Abidin is Associate Professor & ARC DECRA Fellow in Internet Studies at Curtin University, the Programme Lead of Social Media Pop Cultures at the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University, and Affiliate Researcher with the Media Management and Transformation Centre at Jönköping University. She is a digital anthropologist and ethnographer of vernacular internet cultures, and researches young people’s relationships with internet celebrity, self-curation, and vulnerability. Crystal has been studying the Influencer industry in Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Nordic since the late-2000s. She has authored over 40 refereed articles and chapters on various aspects of internet culture, and her books include Internet Celebrity: Understanding Fame Online (2018), Microcelebrity Around the Globe: Approaches to Cultures to Cultures of Internet Fame (2018, co-edited with Megan Lindsay Brown), Instagram: Visual Social Media Cultures (2020, with Tama Leaver and Tim Highfield, Polity Press), and Mediated Interfaces: The Body on Social Media (2020, co-edited with Katie Warfield and Carolina Cambre). Crystal is listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia (2018) and Pacific Standard 30 Top Thinkers Under 30 (2016). Reach her at


[6] COVID-19 Messaging and Youth Engagements on TikTok
SSRC & Wenner-Gren Foundation (grant)>>
TikTok and Digital Intimacies in the Time of COVID-19: A Backstory (talk)>>

[5] COVID-19 Impact on migrant workers in Singapore
Multimedia resource list>> dormitories episode (video)>>

[4] COVID-19 Misinformation on WhatsApp in Singapore, with Natalie Pang (National University of Singapore)
Forthcoming (peer reviewed article)>>

[3] Meme factories and content pivoting during COVID-19
ABC Radio National (radio interview)>>
ABC Radio Hobart (radio interview, from 2:19:00)>>
2SER 107.3 (radio interview)>>
Radio Adelaide 101.5 (radio interview)>>
The Conversation (commentary)>>
Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review (peer reviewed article)>>

[2] Feeling Asian Together: Coping with #COVIDRacism on Subtle Asian Traits, with Jing Zeng (University of Zurich)
Forthcoming (peer reviewed article)>>
腾讯网 (press)>>
Báo Mới (press)>>
亿忆新闻 (press)>> 
Asia Pop (press)>>
Harian Inhua Online (press)>>
South China Morning Post (press)>>
Social Media+Society (short essay)>>

[1] The impact of COVID-19 on the Influencer industry in East Asia and beyond
M/C Journal (peer reviewed article)>>
Media International Australia (peer reviewed article)>>
Viva (press)>>
Kompas (press)>>
Gushcloud Indonesia (virtual press conference)>>
中央通讯社 (press)>>
The Straits Times (press)>>
Gushcloud (industry whitepaper)>>
The Asian Media and Cultural Studies Network (scholarly video lecture)>>
Fieldnotes (interview snippets)>>
TheSwedishLad (video interview)>>
Buzzfeed (press)>>
The Conversation (commentary)>>
Vice (press)>>
Western Independent (press)>>
Pathos Labs (industry short playbook)>>
Pathos Labs (industry full playbook)>>
Magnum & Co (industry report posters)>>
Magnum & Co (industry report preview)>>
Articles forthcoming>>

Expert databases

[3] World Pandemic Research Network: Assessing Societal and Human Impact of COVID-19. <Link>

[2] Australian Academy of Science COVID-19 Expert Database. <Link>

[1] Curtin University COVID-19 Expert Index. <Link>

Further information

Curtin University press release here.
Curtin University profile here.
Academic publications here.
Press mentions here.
Industry work here.


If you would like to get in touch, please reach Crystal at,, or @wishcrys.

This page was last updated on 29 September 2020.