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A multimodal critical discourse analysis of anti-vaccination information on Facebook

30 Nov, 2017
J Ma⁎ , L Stahl, Source: Library and Information Science Research

In light of recent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases, childhood vaccination has been
the subject of significant attention and controversy. Much information seeking and debates about vaccines take
place on social media, yet the effects of information context-specific factors on parental information seeking and
sharing and information source assessment remain unknown. Through the lenses of reductionist thinking and
cognitive authority, this study employed a multimodal critical discourse analysis approach to analyze the textual
and graphic information within a public anti-vaccine Facebook group. Findings show that parental information
seeking and sharing worked to create an isolated, sentimentalized information context favoring immediacy and
emotional impact over scientific research and statistical evidence. Because participants shared fundamental
beliefs and goals around vaccines, group members held cognitive authority despite the lack of expertise or
evidentiary support in their postings. This controversial information-based movement poses challenges and
opportunities for library outreach and information provision.

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 at 9:28 am and is filed under Literature.

Videos Video archive

Emilie Karafillakis, research fellow for the Vaccine Confidence Project, speaks to France 24 about the rising anti-vaccination sentiment that is rising throughout Europe, especially in France where a recent study revealed 1 in 3 citizens believe vaccines are unsafe.

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Prof Larson discusses vaccine hesitancy and its implications across global health in this webinar.

Literature Literature archive

HC Maltezou, C Ledda, V Rapisarda 2019 Vaccine Vol 37(32): 4419-4658
Sabahelzain MM et al. 2019 PLoS ONE VOl 14 (6): e0213882.
KT Paul, K Loer 2019 Journal of Public Health Policy Volume 40, Issue 2
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