Tracking anti-vaccine sentiment in Eastern European social media networks


Published on

April 2013 - UNICEF Social and Civic Media Section, DOC, NYHQ / Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States

1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Tracking anti-vaccine sentiment in Eastern European social media networks

  1. 1. UNICEF & Anti-Vaccination TrendsTracking anti-vaccine sentiment inEastern European social medianetworksApril 2013Social and Civic Media Section, DOC, NYHQRegional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent StatesTo see the working paper and other resources, please click hereFor comments and questions, please email
  2. 2. The need for socialmedia research
  3. 3. Social media is a global phenomenon.3
  4. 4. Purpose: to better understand anti-vaccination conversations & factors thataffect parental decisions in EasternEurope.4
  5. 5. 5To 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?
  6. 6. 6The monitoring approachSocial media conversations offer the depth of qualitativeresearch and the sample sizes of quantitative research inreal time.– How do we detect digital smoke signals?
  7. 7. 7Using various types of metrics & data collectionVolume Channels EngagementSentimentAnalysis
  8. 8. 8Research findings will have real world applications.
  9. 9. 9Important questions to keep in mind– How can we ensure ethical consideration regardingprivacy?– What pieces of data are valid and useful to theresearch?– How do we apply this research in a greater contextconsidering the limitations?
  10. 10. Social Media Research:Methodology
  11. 11. Phase 1– Identify goals– Gather research– Identify topics– Identify languages– Set up tracking11We structured the research into four phases.Spotlight Pages– UNICEF Networks: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube– Regional Pages: USA, Russia, Romania, PolandSearch Queries– UNICEF + Vaccines– WHO + Vaccines– CDC + Vaccines– Anti-vaccination (general)Language– English– Polish– Russian– RomanianPhase 3– Extract & compile data– Quantitative & qualitativeanalyses– Research influencers– Review & translate verbatimmentionsPhase 4– Gather insights from dataanalyses– Synthesize non-Englishinsights– Construct the final report– Make strategicrecommendations based onkey insightsPhase 2– Scrub data– Refine queries– Identify topics– Add new queries tosegment data by topicQuery Topics– Side effects– Efficacy– Unnecessary– Religion/Ethics– DistrustGovernment/Industries– Chemicals/Unnatural– Western Plot– Developmentaldisabilities– Pakistan ban
  12. 12. We analyzed conversations from 22,000 people acrosssocial media.12From May to July 2012, 22,000 people participated in social media discussionsabout vaccination refusal in English, Russian, Romanian and Polish.
  13. 13. The GlobalConversation
  14. 14. 140100020003000400050006000700080009000Men WomenGenderFacebookBlogYouTubeTwitterForumNewsOther*7% 3%39%35%26%24%19%18%7%17%2% 2%Men WomenAge60+50 - 6040 - 5030 - 4020 - 3010 - 20Young women say more in the global anti-vaccinationconversation on Facebook.
  15. 15. 0.4%0.5%0.6%0.6%0.7%2%2%3%3%82%PakistanIrelandIndiaMexicoGermanyCanadaAustraliaPanamaUKUSALocations15Anti-vaccination discussions typically occur in the USon Blogs, Facebook, & Forums.Blog47%Facebook25%Forum14%News5%Twitter5%Tumblr3%YouTube1%NetworksPositive6%Neutral51%Negitive43%Sentiment
  16. 16. 16English is the most common language used to discussanti-vaccination followed by Polish & Russian.English88%Polish8%Russian3%Romanian1%Anti-vaccination discussions0%Polish67%Russian25%Romanian8%Non-English discussions
  17. 17. Blog86%Facebook8%News6%Twitter0%Forum0%Tumblr0%0.4%0.5%0.6%0.6%0.7%2%2%3%3%82%PakistanIrelandIndiaMexicoGermanyCanadaAustraliaPanamaUKUSAEnglishBlog47%Facebook25%News5%Twitter5%Forum14%YouTube1%Tumblr3%0.5%0.5%1%1%1%1%5%5%15%65%UzbekistanAzerbaijanLatviaKazakhstanBelarusNetherlandsGermanyUSAUkraineRussiaRussian17Blogs allow anti-vaccination discussions to reach outside countries & populations.0.5%0.5%0.5%0.5%1%3%9%11%74%UKPortugalBulgariaColombiaItalyGermanyMoldovaUSARomaniaRomanian0.3%0.3%0.3%0.4%1%2%3%4%15%71%IndiaCzech RepublicDenmarkIndonesiaFranceUKNetherlandsGermanyUSAPolandPolishBlog65%Facebook25%News2%Twitter24%Forum4%Blog85%Facebook25%News1%YouTube1%
  18. 18. 18Blogs, Forums, & Facebook facilitate the most engagingdiscussions about anti-vaccination.0500010000150002000025000300003500040000Blog News Forum Facebook Twitter Reddit YouTube Tumblr Other*PostsInteractions
  19. 19. 19Opportunities exist for UNICEF to join organic anti-vaccination discussions.05001000150020002500300035004000450050004/1 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 7/29UNICEF/WHO/CDC + Vaccines Anti-VaccinationCDCAnnouncesAutismIncreaseCA BillAB2109CDC: MeaslesIncidenceincreased in 2011VT Debates Ending“PhilosophicalExemption”WA Increasein WhoopingCoughMayim Bialik onNPR’s ScienceFriday does notvaccinate her kidsAutism OneConference2012 in ChicagoCDC’s Vaccines ForChildren study showsvaccines improperly storedDr. Oz admits notvaccinating kids, whileadvocating for vaccines.Whooping CoughOutbreak in ORMike Huckabeesupports Pakistan toban polio vaccine.Pampers supportsUNICEF givingtetanus shots.ImmunizationWeek in ZimbabweFreedom Fest2012 in LasVegasCDC: Whooping CoughEpidemic worst in 50years, calling for adultvaccinations.
  20. 20. Anti-vaccinationArguments
  21. 21. 27%6%24%15%1%14%4%9%EnglishReligion/EthicsSide effectsDistrust Government/IndustriesToxins/UnnaturalUnnecessaryDevelopmental DisabilitiesEfficacyWestern Plot21The prevalence of anti-vaccination topics shows thespecific concerns associated with each population.0%65%32%3%Romanian11%35%7%6%7%19%3%12%Polish98%2%Russian
  22. 22. VACCINUL ANTI -HPV UCIDE!!! O elevă de 14 ani dinMarea Britanie a murit după ce i-a fostadministrată o doză de vaccin împotrivacancerului de col uterin: Vaccinuri inutile sipericuloase: “Gardasil (Silgard) şi Cervarixul suntdouă vaccinuri folosite împotriva virusului HPV (şi nua cancerului de col uterin cum ni se spune)!HPV vaccine KILL! A student of 14 years inBritain died after being administered adose of vaccine against cervical cancer:unnecessary and dangerous vaccines"Gardasil (Gardasil) and Cervarix are twovaccines against HPV (not cancer cervicalwe are told)!22Romanian ExamplesThe proponents of the vaccination theory: Jenner and Pasteurs followers - the Vaccine MafiaIn the United States, it is widely known across media channels that over 5,000 families believe thattheir childrens autism was caused by this vaccine, however the actual number is certainly muchgreater. Such legislative decisions against ROR include a 90,000 pound settlement to a little boy calledRobert Fletcher for cerebral lesions as well as a 1.5 million dollar settlement to Hannah Polings parentswho started showing autism signs the day after receiving six different vaccines including ROR.
  23. 23. Недавно проведённое большое исследованиеподтверждает результаты другихнезависимых наблюдений, где сравнивалисьпривитые и непривитые дети. Все онипоказывают, что вакцинированные детиболеют от 2 до 5 раз чаще, чемневакцинированные дети.Source: Вакцинация против пандемическогогриппа H1N1, известного также как"свиной", может приводить к развитиюсиндрома Гийена-Барре, острогополирадикулита у взрослых,свидетельствуют данные канадскихученых, опубликованные в журнале JAMA.Source: www.rutoday.ruA recent large study confirms the results ofother independent observations, whichcompared vaccinated and unvaccinatedchildren. They all show that vaccinatedchildren suffer from 2 to 5 times more oftenthan non-vaccinated children.Vaccination against pandemic influenzaH1N1, also known as "swine", can leadto the development of Guillain-Barrésyndrome, acute poliradikulita in adults,according to the Canadian researchers,published in the journal JAMA.23Russian Examples
  24. 24. In Poland, no one was vaccinated, because the health minister, Ewa Kopacz, who is a doctor, decidedthat 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, werevaccinated against bird flu– died …For over 30 years in the U.S., pharmaceutical companies produce vaccines derived fromaborted fetal tissue (…)24Polish Examples
  25. 25. 25English Examples
  26. 26. 26Arguments 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.59%58%54%51%48%42%41%37%41%42%46%49%52%58%59%63%Developmental DisabilitiesUnnecessarySide EffectsChemicals/UnnaturalDistrust Government/IndustryReligion/EthicsEfficacyWestern PlotFemale Male
  27. 27. 27But analyzing various metrics pointed to three topics:Distrust, Disabilities, Chemicals.Rank byActivity VolumeRank byImpact RatioRank byConversation DensityRank byEngagement RateReligion/Ethics Developmental DisabilitiesDistrustGovernment/IndustriesDevelopmental DisabilitiesDistrustGovernment/IndustriesDistrustGovernment/IndustriesDevelopmental Disabilities Chemicals/UnnaturalChemicals/Unnatural Chemicals/Unnatural Chemicals/UnnaturalDistrustGovernment/IndustriesDevelopmental Disabilities Unnecessary Side effects UnnecessarySide Effects Side Effects Western Plot Religion/EthicsWestern Plot Religion/Ethics Unnecessary EfficacyEfficacy Western Plot Religion/Ethics Western PlotUnnecessary Efficacy Efficacy Side effects
  28. 28. Anti-Vaccination advocates leverage their social networksto influence others about health, parenting, & policy.Influencer Networks DescriptionDr. Joseph Mercola Facebook, Twitter, Blog Naturopathic doctor against BlogConcern with vaccines having aborted fetal tissue, chemicals used in pesticides, &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-focusedProud Parents of Unvaccinated Children FacebookArgues that vaccinated children get unvaccinated children sick, doctors haveinadequate education, Big Pharma controls what doctors learn in medical schoolThe Refusers Facebook, Twitter, TumblrAnti-government, anti-corporate, argues that neurotoxins in vaccines cause braindamageNatural News Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Blog Alternative Medicine Blog Alternative Medicine blogWorldtruth.tvFacebook, Twitter, Reddit, Digg, LinkedIn,Tumblr, Google+, YouTubeArgues the Pharmaceutical-Industrial Complex pushes harmful vaccines, andvaccinated 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
  29. 29. 29Dr. Tenpenny targets women with emotional appeal &medical authority.40K Facebook Fans1.6K Twitter Followers48 Pinterest FollowersFeatures– Multiple social networks– Multiple websites– Digital content variety– Women-focused– Authoritative
  30. 30. 30Natural News presents as an accessible health &wellness authority.270K Facebook Fans51K Twitter Followers4.6K Pinterest Followers42K YouTube SubscribersFeatures– Multiple social networks– Digital content variety– Lifestyle oriented– Free Information– Authoritative
  31. 31. Insights &Implementation
  32. 32. Core MembersIntense MemberAlert Members32Model of Anti-vaccination Sentiment Identification& Salience123
  33. 33. Comprehensive EducationUninformed33Why do parents refuse vaccinations for their children?How do they feel?AcknowledgementTransparencyMore Vaccine ResearchAccessible InformationAssuranceFreedom to ChooseOpportunity to contributeDisempoweredDistrustfulSuspiciousSkepticalScaredFrustratedConflictedGuidanceWhat do they want?
  34. 34. 34Engagement strategies flowed directly from our findings.
  35. 35. Thank youand do you have questions?Email us at
  36. 36. Appendix
  37. 37. 37Popular arguments reflect traditional American values.Religion/Ethics27%DistrustGovernment/Industries24%Chemicals/Non-natural15%Developmental Disabilities14%Western Plot9%Side effects6%Efficacy4%Unnecessary1%Social Media ParticipantsThe relative popularity of topicsreflects the collective concernsof the English-speaking Anti-Vaccination community—freedom, ethics, religion, andhealth—typical values of mostAmericans.
  38. 38. 38Each metric tells a slightly different story about each topicInteractionsPostsActivity Volume Impact RatioTopic ImpactDevelopmental Disabilities 2.7Distrust Government/Industries 1.9Chemicals/Unnatural 1.9Unnecessary 1.6Side Effects 1.1Religion/Ethics 1Western Plot 1Efficacy 0.9• 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.
  39. 39. 39Each metric tells a slightly different story about each topicTopic DensityDistrust Government/Industries 7.9Developmental Disabilities 6.9Chemicals/Unnatural 6.9Side effects 6.3Western Plot 5.8Unnecessary 5.5Religion/Ethics 5.2Efficacy 4.4People per Conversation Engagement RateTopic EngagementDevelopmental Disabilities 20%Chemicals/Unnatural 16%Distrust Government/Industries 14%Unnecessary 14%Religion/Ethics 11%Efficacy 11%Western Plot 11%Side effects 10%• More people were involved per conversation about Distrust Government/Industries.• Posts about Developmental Disabilities became conversations more frequently than other topics.
  40. 40. 40The Refusers advocate against vaccines through music& “authenticity."10K Facebook Fans13K Twitter Followers139 YouTube SubscribersFeatures– Multiple networks– Entertainment content– Social activism– American values– Conspiracy
  41. 41. 14K Facebook Fans730 Twitter Followers444 YouTube triggers parental fears by emphasizingresponsibility.Features– Multiple social networks– Educational– Empowering– Authoritative– Clean, simple design