Whose Agenda Is It Anyway? The Effect of Disinformation on COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy in the Netherlands

Natalia I. Kadenko*, J. M. van der Boon, J. van der Kaaij, W. J. Kobes, A. T. Mulder, J. J. Sonneveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

With the problem of disinformation becoming more apparent, one of the current topics for disinformation campaigns is the COVID-19 vaccine, which has broad implications for public health. This research was conducted to investigate a possible connection between the amount of vaccination-related disinformation and the willingness among the Dutch population to get vaccinated. The contribution of this research is 1) developing a tool-supported approach to identify words and bigrams used in alternative news outlet, 2) classifying disinformation-related vocabulary, 3) applying the approach that relates disinformation and vaccination willingness in the context of the COVID pandemic, highlighting its strengths and limitations. We conceptualised vaccination disinformation, expressed it in certain’trigger terms’ and plotted the popularity of those terms amongst Dutch Internet users over time, using Google Trends and Twitter data. Using a linear regression model, we combined this with vaccination willingness studies of June through December of 2020 to investigate a possible correlation. Our results, while not statistically significant, did point towards a negative relationship between disinformation spread and willingness to vaccinate. Further research, utilizing similar approach and additional available information on vaccination willingness, may provide more insight on disinformation spread and vaccination willingness across the world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectronic Participation - 13th IFIP WG 8.5 International Conference, ePart 2021, Proceedings
EditorsNoella Edelmann, Csaba Csáki, Sara Hofmann, Thomas J. Lampoltshammer, Laura Alcaide Muñoz, Peter Parycek, Gerhard Schwabe, Efthimios Tambouris
PublisherSpringer
Pages55-65
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783030828233
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event13th IFIP WG 8.5 International Conference on Electronic Participation, ePart 2021 - Granada, Spain
Duration: 7 Sep 20219 Sep 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12849 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference13th IFIP WG 8.5 International Conference on Electronic Participation, ePart 2021
Country/TerritorySpain
CityGranada
Period7/09/219/09/21

Keywords

  • Disinformation
  • Social media
  • Vaccine hesitancy

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