Social Media Analytics Helps UNICEF Save Lives


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In the last years, UNICEF Central and Eastern Europe – Commonwealth of Independent States (CEECIS) region has been troubled with the rise of a strong anti-vaccine sentiment, which has found popular expression through digital and social media.

The Social and Civic Media Section, within the Division of Communication, in collaboration with the CEECIS regional office pioneered in monitoring public social media discussions among concerned parents about anti vaccination sentiments. The findings help to understand who influences opinions, what concerns are the strongest among parents and how to best engage in communication and public advocacy efforts.

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  • 1.7 billion users are on top social networks world wide, nearly a quarter of the world population.
  • Social media research insights will have real world applications.
  • Social Media research takes coordination, time, effort, and $.
  • Social media research involves several different types of metrics and data collection.
  • Gives context about the amount of data and people involved in this study.
  • The research process is methodical, structured, and time consuming.
  • Mostly young adult women in the US drive anti-vaccination conversations in English on blogs and Facebook, reaching countries outside the USA.
  • Mostly young adult women in the US drive anti-vaccination conversations in English on blogs and Facebook, reaching countries outside the USA.
  • This may be due to the fact that we collected data from social networks more popular with English-speakers or it may reflect that Polish and Russian speakers are more interested in anti-vaccination discussions.
  • Locations are detected when attached to a piece of data. We can see social media data in different languages coming from different places, showing the penetration of specific languages into other countries. Anti-vaccination discussions reached other countries by using the same social networks, allowing ideas to penetrate other regions and populations.
  • Leading posts about anti-vaccination topics get way more engagement on Blogs, Forums, and Facebook.
  • Anti-vaccination social activity spikes in response to announcements of disease incidence, news stories about vaccines, legislation, celebrity statements and brand endorsements. Not all peaks coincide, meaning that sometimes UNICEF was involved in social media discussions about vaccines where anti-vaccination sentiment was not present. (see 6/12, 6/29, 7/20 peaks). Also, anti-vaccine discussions peaked at times that UNICEF/WHO/CDC discussions were not peaking (see 4/20, 4/24. 4/26, 5/25, 6/6, 7/2, 7/9), revealing an opportunity for UNICEF to join the discussion from which they are absent.
  • We see the prevalence of specific anti-vaccination topics in each language, showing the concerns associated with each population.
  • Men tend to be more concerned with meta topics or arguments that focus on a larger context.Women tend to be more concerned with more granular topics that focus on direct cause and effect.
  • Topics with greater interactions to posts indicate highly engaging arguments, often consisting of hundreds of comments in a long thread.Chemicals/non-natural, Distrust government/Industries, and Developmental disability arguments are highly engaging.
  • Anti-Vaccination influencers spread ideas through well-established social networks and are often health-focused (Autism, homeopathic), parent-focused (social communities for moms), or concerned with government (freedom, conspiracy).
  • Influencer uses multiple social networks, digital content (text, video, pictures), emotional appeal, authority, offering services & ecommerce. These are the features of influencer’s social media presence that makes them so powerful.
  • Influencer uses multiple social networks, digital content (text, video, pictures), emotional appeal, authority, offering services & ecommerce. These are the features of influencer’s social media presence that makes them so powerful.
  • The reasons for refusing vaccines are interrelated and correlated with other values and beliefs, but overall, people refuse the vaccines because they are disempowered and distrustful.
  • People refuse the vaccines because they are disempowered and distrustful. They want acknowledgement of their concerns, comprehensive information, accessible education, transparency from organizations, establishment of trust, more research to study long term side effects of vaccines, opportunity to contribute, and freedom to make choices.
  • Influencer uses multiple social networks, digital content (text, video, pictures), emotional appeal, authority, offering services & ecommerce. These are the features of influencer’s social media presence that makes them so powerful.
  • Social Media Analytics Helps UNICEF Save Lives

    1. 1. UNICEF & Anti-Vaccination TrendsSocial Media Analytics to Save LivesFebruary 2013 prepared by Traxion
    2. 2. Meet the presenters Sebastian Majewski Emily Chambliss United Nations Traxion & Attention USA @sebmaje @emilychambliss 2
    3. 3. The need for social media research
    4. 4. Social media analytics is tackling real world problems. UNICEF vaccinations in the CEE-CIS region 4
    5. 5. Social media is a global phenomenon. 5
    6. 6. Purpose: to better understand anti-vaccination conversations & factors thataffect parental decisions in the CEE-CIS. 6
    7. 7. To reach this goal, we developed questions to guide theresearch. – Why parents are refusing vaccinations? – What are the concerns about vaccines? – What are their ideas/perceptions? – Who is influencing the discussion? – Which networks are being used? – Where are they located? – How to respond? 7
    8. 8. The monitoring approach Social media conversations offer the depth of qualitative research and the sample sizes of quantitative research in real time. – How do we detect digital smoke signals? 8
    9. 9. Research findings will have real world applications. 9
    10. 10. Important questions to keep in mind – How can we ensure ethical consideration regarding privacy? – What pieces of data are valid and useful to the research? – How do we apply this research in a greater context? 10
    11. 11. Social Media Research: Methodology
    12. 12. After meticulous coordination & planning… Research Questions: Required Resources: – Terms/phrases? – Social data analysts – Languages? – Non-English translators – Timeframe? – Tracx – Social pages? – Information – Metrics? – Time 12
    13. 13. Using various types of metrics & data collection Sentiment Volume Channels Engagement Analysis 13
    14. 14. We analyzed conversations from 22,000 people acrosssocial media. From May to July 2012, 22,000 people participated in social media discussions about vaccination refusal in English, Russian, Romanian and Polish. 14
    15. 15. We structured the research into four phases. Phase 1 Search Queries Language Phase 3 – Identify goals – UNICEF + Vaccines – English – Extract & compile data – Gather research – WHO + Vaccines – Polish – Quantitative & qualitative – Identify topics – CDC + Vaccines – Russian analyses – Identify languages – Anti-vaccination (general) – Romanian – Research influencers – Set up tracking – Review & translate verbatim Spotlight Pages mentions – UNICEF Networks: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – Regional Pages: USA, Russia, Romania, Poland Phase 2 Query Topics – Chemicals/Unna Phase 4 – Scrub data – Side effects tural – Gather insights from data – Refine queries – Efficacy – Western Plot analyses – Identify topics – Unnecessary – Developmental – Synthesize non-English – Add new queries to – Religion/Ethics disabilities insights segment data by topic – Distrust – Pakistan ban – Construct the final report Government/Ind – Make strategic ustries recommendations based on key insights 15
    16. 16. The GlobalConversation
    17. 17. Young women drive the global anti-vaccinationconversation on Blogs & Facebook. Gender Age 2% 2% 9000 7% 60+ Facebook 17% 8000 19% Blog 50 - 60 7000 18% 6000 YouTube 40 - 50 26% 5000 Twitter 24% 30 - 40 4000 Forum 3000 20 - 30 News 39% 2000 35% Other* 10 - 20 1000 0 7% 3% Men Women Men Women 17
    18. 18. Anti-vaccination discussions typically occur in the USon Blogs, Facebook, & Forums. Locations USA 82% UK 3% Networks Sentiment Panama 3% Tumblr YouTube Australia 2% Twitter 3% 1% Canada 2% 5% Positive News 6% Germany 5% 0.7% Negitive Mexico 0.6% Forum 43% 14% Blog India 0.6% 47% Neutral 51% Ireland 0.5% Facebook 25% Pakistan 0.4% 18
    19. 19. English is the most common language used to discussanti-vaccination followed by Polish & Russian. Anti-vaccination discussions Non-English discussions Russian Romanian 3% 1% Romanian 8% 0% Polish 8% Russian 25% Polish 67% English 88% 19
    20. 20. Blogs allow anti-vaccination discussions to reach outside countries & populations. English Russian USA 82% Russia 65% UK 3% Ukraine 15% Panama 3% Tumblr Forum YouTube USA 5% 3% 4% Australia 2% 1% Germany 5% Canada 2% Forum 14% Netherlands 1% Germany 0.7% Blog Twitter Belarus 1% Twitter Mexico 0.6% 47% News 24% 5% Kazakhstan 1% India 0.6% 2% News Blog Ireland 0.5% Facebook Latvia 1% 5% Facebook 65% Pakistan 0.4% 25% Azerbaijan 0.5% 25% Uzbekistan 0.5% Romanian Polish Romania Twitter Forum Poland 71% 74% 0% 0% USA USA 11% 15% News Tumblr Germany News Moldova 4% YouTube 9% Facebook 6% 0% 1% Netherlands 3% Facebook 1% Germany 3% 8% UK 2% 25% Italy 1% France 1% Colombia 0.5% Indonesia 0.4% Bulgaria 0.5% Denmark 0.3% Blog Czech Republic 0.3% Blog Portugal 0.5% 86% India 0.3% 85% UK 0.5% 20
    21. 21. Blogs, Forums, & Facebook facilitate the most engagingdiscussions about anti-vaccination. Posts 40000 35000 Interactions 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 Blog News Forum Facebook Twitter Reddit YouTube Tumblr Other* 21
    22. 22. Opportunities exist for UNICEF to join organic anti-vaccination discussions. UNICEF/WHO/CDC + Vaccines Anti-Vaccination Mike Huckabee supports Pakistan to ban polio vaccine. Whooping Cough Pampers supports Immunization CDC: Measles Outbreak in OR UNICEF giving Week in Zimbabwe Incidence tetanus shots. 5000 increased in 2011 Dr. Oz admits not WA Increase vaccinating kids, while 4500 in Whooping advocating for vaccines. Cough 4000 CDC: Whooping Cough CA Bill VT Debates Ending AB2109 “Philosophical Epidemic worst in 50 3500 CDC’s Vaccines For years, calling for adult Exemption” CDC Children study shows vaccinations. 3000 Announces vaccines improperly stored Autism 2500 Increase 2000 Mayim Bialik on Autism One Freedom Fest NPR’s Science Conference 2012 in Las 1500 Friday does not 2012 in Chicago Vegas vaccinate her kids 1000 500 0 4/1 4/8 4/15 4/22 4/29 5/6 5/13 5/20 5/27 6/3 6/10 6/17 6/24 7/1 7/8 7/15 7/22 7/29 22
    23. 23. Anti-vaccination Arguments
    24. 24. The prevalence of anti-vaccination topics shows thespecific concerns associated with each population. 9% 0% 3% 4% 27% Religion/Ethics 32% 14% Side effects English Romanian 1% 6% 65% Distrust Government/Industries 15% Toxins/Unnatural 24% Unnecessary Developmental Disabilities 2% 12% 11% 3% Efficacy Western Plot Russian 19% Polish 35% 7% 98% 6% 7% 24
    25. 25. Romanian Examples VACCINUL ANTI -HPV UCIDE!!! O elevă de 14 ani din HPV vaccine KILL! A student of 14 years in Marea Britanie a murit după ce i-a fost Britain died after being administered a administrată o doză de vaccin împotriva dose of vaccine against cervical cancer: cancerului de col uterin: Vaccinuri inutile si unnecessary and dangerous vaccines periculoase: “Gardasil (Silgard) şi Cervarixul sunt "Gardasil (Gardasil) and Cervarix are two două vaccinuri folosite împotriva virusului HPV (şi nu vaccines against HPV (not cancer cervical a cancerului de col uterin cum ni se spune)! we are told)! In the United States, it is widely known across media channels that over 5,000 families believe that their childrens autism was caused by this vaccine, however the actual number is certainly much greater. Such legislative decisions against ROR include a 90,000 pound settlement to a little boy called Robert Fletcher for cerebral lesions as well as a 1.5 million dollar settlement to Hannah Polings parents who started showing autism signs the day after receiving six different vaccines including ROR. The proponents of the vaccination theory: Jenner and Pasteurs followers - the Vaccine Mafia 25
    26. 26. Russian Examples Недавно проведённое большое исследование A recent large study confirms the results of подтверждает результаты других other independent observations, which независимых наблюдений, где сравнивались compared vaccinated and unvaccinated привитые и непривитые дети. Все они children. They all show that vaccinated показывают, что вакцинированные дети children suffer from 2 to 5 times more often болеют от 2 до 5 раз чаще, чем than non-vaccinated children. невакцинированные дети. Source: Вакцинация против пандемического гриппа H1N1, известного также как "свиной", может приводить к развитию Vaccination against pandemic influenza синдрома Гийена-Барре, острого H1N1, also known as "swine", can lead полирадикулита у to the development of Guillain-Barré взрослых, свидетельствуют данные syndrome, acute poliradikulita in канадских ученых, опубликованные в adults, according to the Canadian журнале JAMA. researchers, published in the journal JAMA. Source: 26
    27. 27. Polish Examples In Poland, no one was vaccinated, because the health minister, Ewa Kopacz, who is a doctor, decided that it would not be too safe. "As a physician, I am guided by the principle of not harming others" - Kopacz said in the Polish parliament in 2009. – ”We will not purchase vaccine for swine flu." … in 2007 a ​dozen of homeless people in Poland who, without their knowledge, were vaccinated against bird flu– died … For over 30 years in the U.S., pharmaceutical companies produce vaccines derived from aborted fetal tissue (…) 27
    28. 28. English Examples 28
    29. 29. Arguments against vaccination vary by gender. Men tend to be more concerned with topics that focus on the bigger picture. Women tend to be more concerned with granular topics, focusing on direct cause & effect. Female Male Western Plot 37% 63% Efficacy 41% 59% Religion/Ethics 42% 58% Distrust… 48% 52% Chemicals/Unnatural 51% 49% Side Effects 54% 46% Unnecessary 58% 42% Developmental Disabilities 59% 41% 29
    30. 30. At first glance, Religion/Ethics appeared to be the mostengaging anti-vaccination topic. Activity Volume Religion/Ethics Distrust Government/Industries Chemicals/Unnatural Developmental Disabilities Side effects Western Plot Efficacy Interactions Unnecessary Posts 30
    31. 31. But analyzing various metrics pointed to three topics:Distrust, Disabilities, Chemicals. Rank by Rank by Rank by Rank by Activity Volume Impact Ratio Conversation Density Engagement Rate Distrust Religion/Ethics Developmental Disabilities Developmental Disabilities Government/Industries Distrust Distrust Developmental Disabilities Chemicals/Unnatural Government/Industries Government/Industries Distrust Chemicals/Unnatural Chemicals/Unnatural Chemicals/Unnatural Government/Industries Developmental Disabilities Unnecessary Side effects Unnecessary Side Effects Side Effects Western Plot Religion/Ethics Western Plot Religion/Ethics Unnecessary Efficacy Efficacy Western Plot Religion/Ethics Western Plot Unnecessary Efficacy Efficacy Side effects 31
    32. 32. Anti-Vaccination advocates leverage their social networksto influence others about health, parenting, & policy. Influencer Networks DescriptionDr. Joseph Mercola Facebook, Twitter, Blog Naturopathic doctor against vaccines Concern with vaccines having aborted fetal tissue, chemicals used in pesticides, & Blog heavy metalsZen Gardner – Just Wondering Blog Conspiracies aimed at media, government, science, etc.Dr. Tenpenny on Vaccines Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest Osteopathic doctor argues that vaccines cause brain injuryLeft Brain/Right Brain Blog Autism news science & opinion, anti-vaccination leaningThinking Moms’ Revolution Blog, Facebook Parent-focused Argues that vaccinated children get unvaccinated children sick, doctors haveProud Parents of Unvaccinated Children Facebook inadequate education, Big Pharma controls what doctors learn in medical school Anti-government, anti-corporate, argues that neurotoxins in vaccines cause brainThe Refusers Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr damageNatural News Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Blog Alternative Medicine Blog Alternative Medicine blog Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Digg, LinkedIn, Argues the Pharmaceutical-Industrial Complex pushes harmful vaccines, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube vaccinated kids get more sick than unvaccinated Blog Alternative Medicine Forum Vaccination studies and effects Blog Argues for natural immunity to regain Blog Alternative Medicine blog
    33. 33. Dr. Tenpenny targets women with emotional appeal &medical authority. 40K Facebook Fans 1.6K Twitter Followers 48 Pinterest Followers Features – Multiple social networks – Multiple websites – Digital content variety – Women-focused – Authoritative 33
    34. 34. Natural News presents as an accessible health &wellness authority. 270K Facebook Fans 51K Twitter Followers 4.6K Pinterest Followers 42K YouTube Subscribers Features – Multiple social networks – Digital content variety – Lifestyle oriented – Free Information – Authoritative 34
    35. 35. WorldTruth.TV’s international focus on conspiraciesappeals to fear. 27K Facebook Fans 1K Twitter Followers 453 YouTube Subscribers 72 Pinterest Followers Features – Multiple social networks – Authenticity & Authority – Apocalyptic theme – Internationally-focused – Opportunity to donate 35
    36. 36. Insights &Implementation
    37. 37. Model of Anti-vaccination Sentiment Identification& Salience 1 Core Members 2 Intense Member 3 Alert Members 37
    38. 38. Arguments for vaccine refusal are interrelated &associated with existing beliefs & values. Freedom of Choice Faith in God Religion/Ethics Alternative Side Effects Unnecessary Medicine Homeopathy Developmental Disabilities Toxins/Unnatural Medical-Industrial Efficacy Western Plot Green Complex Movement Distrust of Government/ Industries Anti-capitalism Population Control 38
    39. 39. Why do parents refuse vaccinations for their children? How do they feel? What do they want? Uninformed Accessible Information Conflicted Comprehensive Education Acknowledgement Frustrated Guidance Scared Assurance Suspicious Transparency Distrustful More Vaccine Research Skeptical Opportunity to contribute Disempowered Freedom to Choose 39
    40. 40. Engagement strategies flowed directly from our findings. 40
    41. 41. Questions?
    42. 42. Contact Sebastian Majewski Emily Chambliss United Nations Traxion & Attention USA @sebmaje @emilychambliss 42
    43. 43. Appendix
    44. 44. Popular arguments reflect traditional American values. Social Media Participants The relative popularity of topics Unnecessary reflects the collective concerns Efficacy 1% 4% of the English-speaking Anti- Side effects 6% Vaccination community— Western Plot freedom, ethics, religion, and 9% Religion/Ethic s health—typical values of most 27% Americans. Development al Disabilities 14% Distrust Government/ Chemicals/No Industries n-natural 24% 15% 44
    45. 45. Each metric tells a slightly different story about each topic • Looking at activity volume showed Religion/Ethics to be the most engaging topic. • Looking at impact ratio showed Developmental Disabilities to be the most engaging topic. Activity Volume Impact Ratio Interactions Topic Impact Posts Developmental Disabilities 2.7 Distrust Government/Industries 1.9 Chemicals/Unnatural 1.9 Unnecessary 1.6 Side Effects 1.1 Religion/Ethics 1 Western Plot 1 Efficacy 0.9 45
    46. 46. Each metric tells a slightly different story about each topic • More people were involved per conversation about Distrust Government/Industries. • Posts about Developmental Disabilities became conversations more frequently than other topics. People per Conversation Engagement Rate Topic Density Topic Engagement Distrust Government/Industries 7.9 Developmental Disabilities 20% Developmental Disabilities 6.9 Chemicals/Unnatural 16% Chemicals/Unnatural 6.9 Distrust Government/Industries 14% Side effects 6.3 Unnecessary 14% Western Plot 5.8 Religion/Ethics 11% Unnecessary 5.5 Efficacy 11% Religion/Ethics 5.2 Western Plot 11% Efficacy 4.4 Side effects 10% 46
    47. 47. The Refusers advocate against vaccines through music& “authenticity." 10K Facebook Fans 13K Twitter Followers 139 YouTube Subscribers Features – Multiple networks – Entertainment content – Social activism – American values – Conspiracy 47
    48. 48. triggers parental fears by emphasizingresponsibility. 14K Facebook Fans 730 Twitter Followers 444 YouTube Subscribers Features – Multiple social networks – Educational – Empowering – Authoritative – Clean, simple design 48