TK MILAB Speaker Series - Mapping the network of anti-vaxxer and pro-vaxxer supporters’ – Two discourses, opposite worlds?
Zoltán Kmetty (TK CSS-RECENS) presentation titled „Mapping the network of anti-vaxxer and pro-vaxxer supporters’ – Two discourses, opposite worlds?” on September 28, 10:00 am.
The debate about anti-vaccination was renewed in the last year as a consequence of Covid-19 pandemic. For the effective community level immunity against Covid-19, 60-70 percent of the population needs to be vaccined. But the acceptance of Covid-19 vaccines is lower in many countries (Lazarus et al 2020), and the anti-vaxer narratives are louder than ever (Johnson et al 2020). Standard methods (survey, focus groups) can give an overview about the anti-vaccination trends, but they can’t map the whole dynamic of the process, the main narratives behind anti-vaccination and the communication links and/or barriers between pro- and anti-vaxxer supporters. Social media posts, and comments in the online space could give a more detailed and more valid result about how people think and feel about vaccination.
In our project we use online textual data and advanced text mining methods to analyze the anti-vaxxer discourse in Hungary under the second wave of Covid-19. Using a corpus of more than 1 million posts and comments we classify the texts into neutral/partial/anti-vaxxer groups. For this we use a state-of-the-art NLP language model – BERT – which achieved high performance in many NLP related classification tasks. Within the texts we identify key actors (people, institutions), and in many cases we could also identify who commented on whom. This NLP based approach makes it possible to create the discourse network of pro- and anti-vaxer supporters. In the analyses part of the paper, we focus on this discourse network. Our research question is about the existence of links and barriers between the pro- anti-vaxxer supporters’ network.
Johnson, N. F., Velásquez, N., Restrepo, N. J., Leahy, R., Gabriel, N., El Oud, S., ... & Lupu, Y. (2020). The online competition between pro-and anti-vaccination views. Nature, 1-4.
Lazarus, J. V., Ratzan, S. C., Palayew, A., Gostin, L. O., Larson, H. J., Rabin, K., ... & El-Mohandes, A. (2020). A global survey of potential acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine. Nature medicine, 1-4.
The seminar will be broadcasted via Zoom application. Participation is subject to prior registration. The Zoom link of the event will be sent to registered participants via email. Register here!