Immunization and Web 2.0

We just published a new article related to vaccine content on YouTube:,60n7a2G8

This research started as part of an honours thesis by Monika Chase, an undergraduate student in the School of Interdisciplinary Science. We expanded this work and turned it into a paper exploring vaccine related content on YouTube.

Our objective was to compare sentiment (measured by views and likes) and word choice (based on automated transcripts of videos) across measles and influenza immunization-related content.

We found some slight differences between different ‘flu’ and ‘measles’ videos, but found some other interesting things as well. For example, there is a spike in the volume and ‘likeability’ of measles content around the time that measles outbreaks occur.

We also found that while anti-immunization videos use the language of science, they contain slight differences that may make them easy to detect for surveillance systems. This could be useful for detecting trends in anti-immunization content in social media.