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Social BI to understand the debate on vaccines on the Web and social media: unraveling the anti-, free, and pro-vax communities in Italy

  • Matteo Francia
  • Enrico GallinucciEmail author
  • Matteo Golfarelli
Original Article
  • 139 Downloads

Abstract

The debate on vaccines in Italy has greatly intensified in recent years. The promulgation of a law that makes a set of ten vaccines obligatory has pushed this formerly niche topic to a mainstream level. The law itself is an answer to the progressive erosion of the vaccine coverage. The debate has become a political topic with three main positions: supporters of the importance of vaccines, opponents who claim that vaccines are harmful to health, and the new position of those contesting only the mandatoriness of vaccinations. In this paper, we build on a Social Business Intelligence architecture to propose an in-depth analysis of the emerging social debate. Our analysis spans over more than three years, covering all the Web and social media. We adopt several techniques, including community detection and text analytics, to understand the evolution of the debate, the discussed topics, and the structure and peculiarities of the main social communities. The study reveals that the communities are well characterized, especially from a political perspective, and provides useful insights to official health organizations to improve their communication strategies.

Keywords

Social Business Intelligence Vaccines Community detection Social networks 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DISI – University of BolognaCesenaItaly

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