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-   -   On Twitter, Anti-Vaccination Sentiments Spread More Easily Than Pro-Vaccination Sentiments (http://www.mothering.com/forum/47-vaccinations/1381145-twitter-anti-vaccination-sentiments-spread-more-easily-than-pro-vaccination-sentiments.html)

emmy526 04-06-2013 05:04 AM

 

 

Quote:

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."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130404122058.htm


Taximom5 04-06-2013 06:51 AM

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.

beckybird 04-06-2013 10:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post

Sad to see that $$ trumps health and safety.

Sad, but very true.


prosciencemum 04-06-2013 04:40 PM

Thanks for sharing emmy526. That's really interesting.

dinahx 04-06-2013 05:08 PM

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.

Rrrrrachel 04-06-2013 06:10 PM

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?"

dinahx 04-06-2013 06:29 PM

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 . . .

Rrrrrachel 04-06-2013 06:49 PM

So by the left you mean the political left?

dinahx 04-06-2013 07:21 PM

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 . . .

dinahx 04-06-2013 07:21 PM

I personally don't identify with either side or participate in US politics . . .

dinahx 04-06-2013 08:00 PM

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 . . .


dinahx 04-06-2013 08:06 PM

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 . . .


Rrrrrachel 04-06-2013 08:24 PM

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.

dinahx 04-06-2013 08:57 PM

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.

dinahx 04-06-2013 09:01 PM

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.

dinahx 04-06-2013 09:02 PM

It is a good example of how studies translate into broad conclusions when they reach the public . . .

prosciencemum 04-07-2013 01:26 AM

I too would be interested to see the study done for more than just H1N1. I agree it seems that may not be representative.

Rrrrrachel 04-07-2013 06:19 AM

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

dinahx 04-07-2013 08:45 AM

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 . . . 


kathymuggle 04-07-2013 08:53 AM

Quote:
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"

http://www.epjdatascience.com/content/2/1/4/abstract

 

Minus one point to media to for inflammatory titles.


Rrrrrachel 04-07-2013 11:18 AM

Dinah I thought surely everyone loved the polio vax too. My time here at mothering ha taught me that is not the case.

Rrrrrachel 04-07-2013 11:20 AM

Kathy that's kind of what the media does. Their job is too sell newspapers/generate clicks.

Dakotacakes 04-07-2013 11:47 AM

For me, the study just intensifies concerns I have about the social networking revolution.  It seems that the ideas that will spread the fastest regardless of topic matter are those that can be most effectively condensed to a meme or 140 character tweet.  I am just not sure that this is a good progression.  I have had people disagree with me on a topic claim that they have obviously researched this more than I have and then send me a Facebook post as evidence of their research.  Sound bites IMO aren't the greatest research, but they spread the fastest.


dinahx 04-07-2013 12:09 PM

Sure . . . but it is also revolutionary in an old fashioned democratic sense of 'all the peoples can access the information'. I sure wouldn't like to go back to the time where a mother facing a cancer diagnosis couldn't connect to other mothers rapidly & share best practices, etc.

 

The internet is the whole reason any of us are even entitled to have these discussions here, which otherwise we would be largely locked out of because of our role in the home. My grandma couldn't just park her little ones and go to the library!

 

I am a huge fan of democracy & self determination, so I almost always see increased access to information and rapid dissemination as positive. They say there are three things you can't hide: the Sun, the Moon & the Truth. Traditional Media is not helping people truly understand Vax issues, so non-traditional media is bound to step in . . . Maybe NPR & friends could respond by treating this topic more as complex (which it is) and less as 'do it, it is good for you, gov says!'

 

But in any case, whenever I see ProVax messages on Twitter, they seem to have TONS of Retweets & Favorites, so this may be a little of 'playing the victim' to get that 'our opinion is persecuted and minority' ferver going in their community.


dinahx 04-07-2013 12:16 PM

I don't necessarily discount new sources of information, either. I will bet anyone on here a Kombucha that the next Outbreak can be found on Twitter FIRST. Even NPR, a lot of times will be all like 'Today on Twitter . . . ', it just now does move faster than the news . . .

 

I remember a tounge in cheek conversation a few years ago with my ExBF who is an Ivy League Librarian. I said some fact and he was like 'did you get that from Wikipedia?' I was like, 'Naw, I heard it on Facebook Homie!' We were both kidding and wound up in stitches (altho that particular factoid really did come from FB) . . . I am however, friends with TONS of MDs on Facebook, and RNs and CNMs and even a few CPMs . . . Oh and EMTs and Paramedics & PhDs . . .

 

So it actually may happen that someone I know posts something very worthwhile there . . . Just today, I had help making a medical decision from two MDs on my Facebook & then an MD's article on HuffPo . . . (The decision was Folic Acid vs. Folate vs. MethylFolate)

 

So I am saying, I am a voracious consumer of info and I will pick it up anywhere & everywhere. I go to primary sources a LOT and there is a lot of 'telephone' type distortion, for sure . . .


Rrrrrachel 04-07-2013 01:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakotacakes View Post

For me, the study just intensifies concerns I have about the social networking revolution.  It seems that the ideas that will spread the fastest regardless of topic matter are those that can be most effectively condensed to a meme or 140 character tweet.  I am just not sure that this is a good progression.  I have had people disagree with me on a topic claim that they have obviously researched this more than I have and then send me a Facebook post as evidence of their research.  Sound bites IMO aren't the greatest research, but they spread the fastest.

Yeah so much misinformation of all kinds gets posted over and over and over.

prosciencemum 04-07-2013 01:55 PM

It's just a method of communicating. The information content is as good or as poor as the people make it.

Still I am curious about what spreads socially. I wonder if there's an aspect of "this is something which isn't the common knowledge" which interests people to retweet/spread it.

I'd like to see them do it for more vaccine questions, but also other areas where there's a mainstream view and a fringe "did you know" (correct or not - actually I'd be interested in how both spread).

Like I said anyway, fascinating link. Thanks for posting it.

kathymuggle 04-07-2013 02:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

Kathy that's kind of what the media does. Their job is too sell newspapers/generate clicks.

Uh, yeah.  I know.

 

I wanted to see whether it was the media inflating things or if the authors of the study inflated things (something we have seen in other studies) - and I have my answer.  


Rrrrrachel 04-07-2013 03:27 PM

It just seems like there have been a lot of noses out of joint lately over headlines that don't contain every detail of a study, which I find a little eyebrow raising.

kathymuggle 04-07-2013 03:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

It just seems like there have been a lot of noses out of joint lately over headlines that don't contain every detail of a study, which I find a little eyebrow raising.

I think it is legitimate.  These are the stories fed to the public.  Not everybody wants to, has time to, or knows to go digging for further details. 



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