#Scamdemic, #plandemic, or #scaredemic: What parler social media platform tells us about covid‐19 vaccine

Annalise Baines, Muhammad Ittefaq, Mauryne Abwao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aims to understand public discussions regarding COVID‐19 vaccine on Parler, a newer social media platform that recently gained in popularity. Through analyzing a random sample (n = 400) of Parler posts using the hashtags #COVID19Vaccine and #NoCovidVaccine, we use the concept of echo chambers to understand usersʹ discussions through a text analytics approach. Thematic analysis reveals five key themes: reasons to refuse the COVID‐19 vaccine (40%), side effects of the COVID‐19 vaccine (28%), population control through the COVID‐19 vaccine (23%), children getting vaccinated without parental consent (5%), and comparison of other health issues with COVID‐19 (2%). Textual analysis shows that the most frequently used words in the corpus were: nocovidvaccine (348); vaccine (264); covid (184); covid19 (157); and vaccines (128). These findings suggest that users adopted different terms and hashtags to express their beliefs regarding the COVID‐19 vaccine. Further, findings revealed that users used certain hashtags such as “echo” to encourage like‐minded people to reinforce their existing beliefs on COVID‐19 vaccine efficacy and vaccine acceptance. These findings have implications for public health communication in attempts to correct false narratives on social media platforms. Through widely sharing the scientific findings of COVID‐19 vaccine‐related studies can help individuals understand the COVID‐19 vaccines efficacy accurately.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVaccines
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2021

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