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Twitter Informatics: Tracking and Understanding Public Reaction during the 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic

Szomszor, M; Kostkova, P; St Louis, C; (2011) Twitter Informatics: Tracking and Understanding Public Reaction during the 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic. In: Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conferences on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology. (pp. pp. 320-323). IEEE: Lyon, France. Green open access

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Abstract

Much attention has been focused on Twitter because it serves as a central hub for the publishing, dissemination, and discovery of online media. This is true for both traditional news outlets and user generated content, both of which can vary widely in their journalistic and scientific quality. The recent Swine Flu pandemic of 2009 highlighted this aspect perfectly, global events that created a large online buzz, with some dubious medical facts leaking into public opinion. This paper presents an investigation into how online resources relating to Swine Flu were discussed on Twitter, with a focus on identifying and analyzing the popularity of trusted information sources (e.g. from quality news outlets and official health agencies). Our findings indicate that reputable sources are more popular than untrusted ones, but that information with poor scientific merit can still leak into to the network and potentially cause harm.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Twitter Informatics: Tracking and Understanding Public Reaction during the 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic
Event: 2011 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conferences on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology
ISBN-13: 9780769545134
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1109/WI-IAT.2011.311
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1109/WI-IAT.2011.311
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Twitter, Media, Blogs, Cities and towns, Educational institutions, USA Councils, Twitter, Swine Flu, H1N1, Data Mining, News, Social Media, eHealth, Web Science
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10084559
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