Antivaccination views more contagious on Twitter than positive views | Toronto Star.
On Twitter, negative views about vaccination not only spread more easily than positive ones, but people exposed to too many positive messages reacted against them.
That’s according to Penn State University researchers who tracked about 350,000 tweets from more than 100,000 people during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Their study was published Thursday in the journal EPJ Data Science.
The findings have implications that extend beyond the issue of vaccinations.
“People are getting information about how to deal with their health from a variety of sources and increasingly from social media,” said the study’s lead author Marcel Salathé, assistant professor of biology and computer science at Penn State. “It’s a brave new world and we need to get in and understand it.”
People are more affected by negative anything. Negative feedback, negative ads, etc. They stick more. An alternative tactic would be to reframe the discussion about vaccines so that rejecting vaccines is a socially unacceptable view. Not getting vaccinated is bad. As a parent, it means you’ve been less than diligent. Mean? Yes. Unfair. Maybe not. The consensus is clear about vaccines. Parents should feel guilty about blatantly rejecting reasonable health care. Maybe that should be the message.
I’m sure many will disagree.