Original Research

The anti-vaccination infodemic on social media: A behavioral analysis

March 3, 2021

This study examined the behavior of pro- and anti-vaccine actors on Twitter to better understand whether the success of anti-vaccine efforts is linked to the online behavior of anti-vaccine supporters. Their analysis showed that anti-vaccine supporters produce less original content, but they tend to form a stronger sense of online community built around common interests and beliefs. They associated anti-vaccine supporters with a belief in and engagement with conspiracy theories as well as a use of emotional language and content. They posit that pro-vaccine supporters may have more success by using emotional language online. They also examined the influence of political figures. Based on their analysis, they recommend solutions for health organizations to improve their online communications and note the value of building a community of engaged, pro-vaccine influencers that can support the dissemination of accurate, scientific insights and content.

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