Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2022
Volume 67, Number 3
Monday–Friday, March 14–18, 2022; Chicago
Session T08: Statistical Physics of Disease Propagation
11:30 AM–2:18 PM,
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Room: McCormick Place W-179B
Sponsoring Units: GSNP DBIO
Chair: Saul Huitzil, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems
Abstract: T08.00009 : Structure and Information Dynamics of Pro- and Anti-Vaccine Interaction Networks in Twitter*
1:06 PM–1:18 PM
Cristian L Huepe
Cristian L Huepe
Claudio Villegas, Abril Ortiz, Víctor Arriagada, Sofía Ortega, Jorge Gálvez, Juan Walker, Eduardo Arriagada, Alexis Kalergis
In this work, we present a study of all vaccine-related conversations between Twitter users in Chile during a six-month period that includes most of the mass vaccination efforts in that country. By training a machine learning model to classify tweets in a pro- to anti-vaccine spectrum, we characterize almost 60,000 accounts, distinguishing four opinion communities (pro-vaccine, promoters, inhibitors, and anti-vaccine), to analyze the structure and dynamics of their conversation networks.
Our study shows that each community has a distinct online behavior and network topology within its members and with other communities. We also find that pro-vaccine accounts tend to communicate with likeminded accounts, whereas anti-vaccine accounts mainly target conversations with pro-vaccine accounts. These results provide lessons for the design of effective communication strategies that maximize vaccination rates.
*This research was partially supported by CHuepe Labs Inc. in the USA and by the Social Listening Lab (SoL-UC) and the Millennium Institute on Immunology and Immunotherapy (IMII) in Chile.
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