Vaccine movements on social media: a visual and network analysis

Elena Milani is investigating how Twitter pro- and anti-vaccine networks share visual information within and between them, and how they convey their messages visually. Elena conducted a social networks analysis to identify the groups and the influencers involved in visual vaccine debate on Twitter and explore their relationships. She then applied visual semiotics and visual social semiotics analyses to investigate the most shared images about vaccinations.

Scientific controversies, such as vaccinations, are debated in the mainstream media as well as on social media, especially Twitter. On Twitter, both pro- and anti-vaccine movements spread their messages among their target audiences, and share images, which could convey information more effectively than written text, and hence influence public opinion toward vaccinations. Therefore, to improve science communication of vaccines on Twitter, it is fundamental to investigate how its networks represent vaccinations visually.

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