Empowered Social Bots: Content Analysis of Bots-Created Anti-Vaccine Information on Twitter
Yuming Fang is studying the role social media bots have in the amplification of anti vaccination conversations on social media platforms.
I am working on identifying the role of social bots in spreading health misinformation and manipulating public opinions on social media platforms. My research detects bots-created tweets among anti-vaccination data collected from Twitter by using machine-learning methods. I then conduct content analysis of bots-created tweets to find what anti vaccination information social bots have spread, and what strategies social bots have utilized to spread vaccine misinformation. While sizable research has studied anti-vaccination movements or vaccine hesitancy for years, little research has been done to know whether social bots play a role in amplifying anti vaccination discussions, which my research aims to study. The research is the foundation for me to further investigate the impacts of social bots in shaping people’s vaccine perceptions and behaviors.