There is still a lack of understanding who are those who object vaccination, be it in the case of the coronavirus or other infectious disease.

So this recent study is interesting, examining how anti- and not-anti-vaccination individuals speak on twitter:

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Maybe a major finding here is that anti-vaccination individuals seem to refer more often to politics in general, while pro-vacc individuals may have an attention to coronavirus-related topics. Though, as the authors warn, the latter at least may be a consequence from sampling

There seems to be a slight trend towards "sanctity" in relation with vaccination-rejection, while not-anti-vaccination comes with more positive bias in "care" and "fairness". But are those differences defining? Well, they are significant, strong not really...

So this is a highly interesting study examining communications on twitter of pro- & anti-vaccination individuals; it remains yet unclear what is the defining difference...

Comments (see study also): on twitter only, not country-specific, account-sampling had to be in part manual

@christian_zerfass I've found one. The language of antivaxxers is the same as the one of "alternative medicine/omeopathy/steiner/biodynamics" cults.
@christian_zerfass wow, what a finding! at least they figured out how to categorize things that we all should ban and shun. thanks science!

@lain @christian_zerfass

I wonder what it is about state-enforced lockdowns and mandatory vaccination that makes these science-denying CHUDs get all political.

Boosted b/c papers are interesting, though their attitude is not empathetic.

> A Python Package to Detect Anti-Vaccine Users on Twitter

Is dangerously close in tone to "We're now able to make a list of people who, if mass-arrested, would probably end the pandemic", which...

1. That kind of talk is not going to build social cohesion
2. Making lists of people has a bad historical reputation

@cjd @christian_zerfass

Not only that, they lump people who are critical of Covid vaccines with people who are against vaccines in general.

The first group is orders of magnitude larger than the second.

There are *many* people who are vaccinated with traditional vaccines and are however concerned about the lack of long-term safety studies of the Covid vaccines.

@jcbrand @cjd

That may have been my interpretation I admit, or summary respectively... The article itself is more coronavirus-focussed.


I agree on that point. I also was a bit shocked of providing such analytical tool, which would not have been necessary for a science publication (granted that the dataset access requires the academic API). The title in particular does not seem neutral at all.

I found the aplroach interesting, but... yet inconclusive from what is presented...

I confess, I hit the boost button because your interpretation was quite interesting, then I clicked and had a "woah" moment.

I think at this point this one is going to have to get filed under "science is broken".

And this introduces an even bigger problem, because it starts becoming reasonable to ask: "who among these scientists would blow the whistle if the pharma companies DID try to push through an unsafe vaccine"...


And again you have my agreement 🙂 Me as a biochemist, I welcomed the development of a vaccine - and hated how some promoted it as a "miracle cure" as much as others making false claims about it to arhue for rejection.

In the end, it is a pharmaceutical intervention, which we should use to respond to diseases - but always with care and diligence.


We need a critical society that seeks enlightenment 🙂

@christian_zerfass @cjd there is an intentional conflation of those who are skeptical of the effectiveness of pfizer/maderna covid theraputics as christian fundies with antivax tendancies. the root problem is that there exists a media apparatus with monetary incentives to promote the products that pump up the profit margins of those who are making a large amount of profit from covid fears. those who object are labled as 'antivax' as the war on honest open dialogue rages onward on twitter dot com.

@yes @cjd

I don't object that big groups are necessarily diverse. Obviously, trying to find trends is not a wrong thing to do, but caution in interpretations needed - that is correct.

@christian_zerfass @cjd in a big enough sample set you can find almost any kind of correlation if you have a big enough selection bias. this study being on twitter likely caused this by virtue of getting data from twitter.

@yes @cjd Yes, but it's a start. Indeed the determined differences are small.

@christian_zerfass @cjd twitter is biasing the data to force the conclusion to a certain political direction, like they always have.
@christian_zerfass @cjd like, that is literally how twitter works in practice. only show the data that twitter deems you want to see, so they can sell ads. any kind of science done on twitter via public apis is fundamentally flawed by design.

@yes @cjd

Sure. For researchers, Twitter offers lots of access. Not brilliant from the user perspective, but that's how it is. So I assume that's why the study authors chose twitter posts, but yes, big data analysis requires to know and consider your dataset.

@christian_zerfass @cjd twitter does not have a very credible history nor are they know as being honest.
@cjd @christian_zerfass yeah this is depressing.

What Matheus Schmitz, Goran Muric, and Keith Burghardt made is mass surveillance tech.

people have the right to believe stupid things because no one can correctly judge what is stupid 100% of the time

@satchlj @cjd

Indeed, we need critical assessment, and open-minded discussion with each other to step forward.

@christian_zerfass Did they title the study "It's Not Politics When I Agree With It?"
@christian_zerfass this concerns me. reminds me of Chinese oppressive bullshit.

Do some math for me, baby! If the vaccine is only effective at creating the qualitatively "milder" cases of Covid with the exact same viral loads, how does that stop the spread? I really want to see the math.
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