A Multi-Platform Approach to Monitoring Negative Dominance for COVID-19 Vaccine-Related Information Online

Paola Pascual-Ferrá, Neil Alperstein, Daniel J. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to test the appearance of negative dominance in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine-related information and activity online. We hypothesized that if negative dominance appeared, it would be a reflection of peaks in adverse events related to the vaccine, that negative content would attract more engagement on social media than other vaccine-related posts, and posts referencing adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccination would have a higher average toxicity score. Methods: We collected data using Google Trends for search behavior, CrowdTangle for social media data, and Media Cloud for media stories, and compared them against the dates of key adverse events related to COVID-19. We used Communalytic to analyze the toxicity of social media posts by platform and topic. Results: While our first hypothesis was partially supported, with peaks in search behavior for image and YouTube videos driven by adverse events, we did not find negative dominance in other types of searches or patterns of attention by news media or on social media. Conclusion: We did not find evidence in our data to prove the negative dominance of adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccination on social media. Future studies should corroborate these findings and, if consistent, focus on explaining why this may be the case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2471-2479
Number of pages9
JournalDisaster medicine and public health preparedness
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 3 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • health communication
  • negative dominance
  • risk communication
  • social media
  • toxicity
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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