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On Twitter, Anti-Vaccination Sentiments Spread More Easily Than Pro-Vaccination Sentiments

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 




The team's first unexpected finding was that exposure to negative sentiment was contagious, while exposure to positive sentiments was not.

"Cause and effect are difficult to unravel in data such as these, so we can only speculate about why we saw this happen," Salathé said. "Whatever the reason, the observation is troubling because it suggests that negative opinions on vaccination may spread more easily than positive opinions."


post #2 of 58
That's very troubling, that their focus is on negative opinion to vaccination, rather than on the failure of vaccine safety/efficacy that is CAUSING the negative opinion. Sad to see that $$ trumps health and safety.
post #3 of 58
Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post

Sad to see that $$ trumps health and safety.

Sad, but very true.

post #4 of 58
Thanks for sharing emmy526. That's really interesting.
post #5 of 58
The term 'anti-vax' is as ridiculous as the term 'anti-choice'. I call people what they call themselves, to maintain respect in heated debates. Respecting your opponent's argument is the key to true wisdom & understanding & IMO the Left makes a huge mistake showing disrespect to the other POV in this issue. The minute one tells me 'anyone who questions vax is a little daft' & I have some legit questions, a degree & don't consider myself daft . . .

So VaxSafety & ProVax (if y'all have a better term, I will use it). The entire term 'anti-vax' is a smear. I am ProPharma Accoubtability, AntiDogma & AntiBias, AntiCorporate, deeply against Transhumanist and/or Eugenic philosophies & PRO medical self determination. Also Pro accountability & transparency.
post #6 of 58
Yeah I don't like pro vax and anti vax either. They are often the simplest terms, though.

What do you mean by "the left?"
post #7 of 58
The Left seems to me to be the most guilty of acting like there is only one side of whatever argument, whatever that be & using terminology that supports that idea . . . Not that the right doesn't make their own mistakes, but the 'all sane, educated folks only have our position & our position only' seems to be favored by one side . . . Some of the most Leftist bloggers in the US (like Amanda Marcotte) support Vax & also Reproductive Choice using the 'all who disagree with me are real dumb' tactic . . . Which I was just saying, is potentially alienating on complex issues . . .
post #8 of 58
So by the left you mean the political left?
post #9 of 58
Sorta, but it is beyond US politics. I mean, supporting Government mandates on Pharmaceutical products is a very State Centric, State is Benign & Benefical type of stance, which is Left, beyond the US . . .
post #10 of 58
I personally don't identify with either side or participate in US politics . . .
post #11 of 58

Just adding another thought on Twitter: the most interesting thing I use Twitter for on this issue is not to Retweet or not Retweet some person with an agenda on either side, but to search infectious disease by Hashtag. If anything I have ever read makes me reconsider my position, it is seeing many hits on #measles or #pertussis. If you search the hashtag #vaxfax, it seems like 65% Pro, so again, IDK, seems like the researchers went in with an angle apriori


The last time I did #measles, every other tweet was about GAVI's M&R initiative in Africa, and then every other post was about a case or two popping up here & there in the States. Since we know Measles virus is live and can infect the host and shed, I couldn't help but wonder if the events were related (since the tweets about the events were temporally related on Twitter), like if travel from the areas under the massive campaign in Africa was spreading a strain to the US. THAT is what I would like researchers to use Twitter analysis for . . . To see if there is something beyond what we think we understand about the way that disease spreads . . . And if people can use Twitter as a tool for disease monitoring, as disease monitoring and suveilance insn't mentioned, but IMO is at least as important as sanitation . . .

post #12 of 58

Okay, last post, but their conclusion is suspect because they only studied messages pertaining to H1N1 which was a VERY unpopular vaccine, perceived as novel, for an 'epidemic' that basically never materialized. As Flu shots are not mandated, and amongst the least popular vaxes generally, in all versions, I don't think you can really extrapolate how Twitter feels about Vax messages in general from this study. Yes, an abundance of positive messages may backfire, sure, that is true in all realms really. But the Twitter community skews @ least neutral if not pro in my experience. Magazines like 'Wired' who speak for the Tech Elite are very overtly Pro and Tech Elites do make up a large percentage of Twitter users . . .

post #13 of 58
Of course you can't extrapolate how twitter feels about vaccines in general from this study. I'm not sure trying to is really the point.
post #14 of 58
No but they were making a conclusion that positive vax messages spread less quickly than negative & I would counter that they can only conclude that positive H1N1 influenza vax messages spread less quickly. I would accept them extrapolating to all influenza vax messages, but not all vax.
post #15 of 58
This thread title is declarative & does draw not only the conclusion that positive messages about vaccines in general spread less quickly, but that a negative message about H1N1 is really an 'AntiVax sentiment' that spreads more quickly.
post #16 of 58
It is a good example of how studies translate into broad conclusions when they reach the public . . .
post #17 of 58
I too would be interested to see the study done for more than just H1N1. I agree it seems that may not be representative.
post #18 of 58
The authors specifically address the limitation and say further research needs to be done with different vaccines.
post #19 of 58

It is funny, my mama (BSN) is very suspicious of the CDC because of the Lyme Disease (ongoing) debacle (she believes she has chronic Lyme and we did live in Old Lyme CT when she started having symptoms . . . ) but she deeply believes in the 'Vax Classics' which are basically what I got as a young person: DTP, OPV, & MMR. I try to tell her 2/3 of those have been replaced by newer versions . . .


My Nana, who is a generation earlier, believes in vaccinating for Diptheria & Polio, because she knew people who got both of those . . . 


So I do think that different vaxes elicit different responses: for example, many in my generation disparage the CPox Vax. There is this whole selective vax thing where you JUST skip CPox and Flu shots . . .  Gardasil & Cervarix are a hard sell even with otherwise ardent vaxers, and pretty much everyone loves IPV & OPV  . . . Someone might even really like DTaP & IPV, but dislike Pentacel . . . 

post #20 of 58
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

The authors specifically address the limitation and say further research needs to be done with different vaccines.

All studies say this.  It usually comes across to me as a way to CYA and a way to try and secure further funding.  I don't doubt they mean it, but (OT alert) the lack of decisiveness in vaccine research gets a little old.  


In any event…I tend to think a jumping -to-conclusions title is more important that a line or two embedded in the text.


I was not sure who was the guilty party for the inflammatory titles:  media - Science direct and/or Penn state (where they got the article from) or the study itself.


It turns out the study has a provisional not jumping-to -conclusion title of:


"The Dynamics of Health Behavior Sentiments on a Large Online Social Network"



Minus one point to media to for inflammatory titles.

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