Research Repository

Activism against medicine on social media: untangling the #novax protest in Italy on Twitter

Di Ronco, Anna and Allen-Robertson, James (2018) Activism against medicine on social media: untangling the #novax protest in Italy on Twitter. In: EUROCRIM 2018 Crimes against humans and crimes against humanity, 2018-08-30 - 2018-09-01, Sarajevo.

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Social media, online sharing platforms, and online fora are often used by supporters of unofficial, fraudulent and harmful (sometimes regarded as “alternative”) non-medical treatments to channel messages that assert their “medical validity” and undermine the credibility of established and scientific medical practices. These messages may lead people – at least in some cases – to distrust the medical establishment, refuse traditional medical practices and entertain the idea of turning to unsafe non-medical treatments as an attempt to recover from serious pathologies. This paper will focus on a case of social media activism against an officially recognised medical practice – the one of vaccines. Particularly, it will explore the case of NOVAX activism in Italy through a variety of methods, including visual and virtual ethnographies of Twitter and Facebook posts, social network analysis and text mining. By illustrating and critically analysing the social networks and topics of discourse that emerge from the activity of the NOVAX activists on Twitter and Facebook, this paper will discuss the role of social media in supporting activism against traditional medicine.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Published proceedings: _not provided_
Uncontrolled Keywords: vaccines; anti-vaccination; anti-vaxxers; Twitter; Italy
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 May 2021 15:04
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:54

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