Spreading the Antidote -

The Framing of COVID- 19 Vaccination Campaigns in the Brazilian Social Media Sphere

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  • Project duration: July 2021 - July 2022.
  • Research team: Prof. Dr. Stefan Stieglitz and the Chair of Digital Communication and Transformation (UDE) and Prof. Adriana da Rosa Amaral of the research group Cultura Pop, Tecnologias e Comunicação (CULTPOP) UNISINOS in Porto Alegre
  • Sponsor: DFG Focus Funding Covid-19

Strategies against the Covid 19 infodemic in Brazil

The Corona pandemic has held the world in a tight grip since its outbreak in February 2020. The global South in particular is suffering the consequences of the pandemic. In the DFG-funded collaborative research project "Spreading the Antidote - The Framing of COVID-19 Vaccination Campaigns in the Brazilian Social Media Sphere (SMAVAC)," Prof. Stieglitz is now researching social media communication about the vaccination campaign in Brazil together with researchers from the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The researchers want to find out which false messages are circulating and how all parts of the Brazilian population can be provided with the correct information about the Covid-19 vaccination.


More detailed project description

As part of the project, the research team will analyze social media data from the Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube networks to uncover misinformation, rumors, and conspiracy theories during the "Covid-19 infodemic" in Brazil. Here, the researchers rely on an innovative combination of social media analytics methods and qualitative analysis to uncover harmful narratives and frames and identify opinion leaders. In addition to scientific research, the group's primary focus is to develop concrete recommendations and strategies for Brazilian health institutions to make them more resilient to infodemics in upcoming health crises.

The research team plans to present the results of its research and the strategies developed to the Brazilian scientific community, and leading institutions in the field of health care, in the form of a workshop next year. In this context, the high diversity of the Brazilian population is to be kept in mind to also reach the indigenous population and people in precarious living conditions.

For the Brazilian research team, the research groups CULTPOP and LIC, represented by Prof. Adriana da Rosa Amaral and Prof. Maria Clara Aquino Bittencourt, the support of the DFG and the cooperation with the UDE is of great importance, as the government of President Jair Bolsonaro has cut many research funding instruments. The SMAVAC project stringently continues the good cooperation between UNISINOS and UDE, which are also already jointly researching the further development of social media analytics for the management of crisis situations in the EU-funded project RISE_SMA.

Further information on the COVID-19 special funding of the DFG can be found here.

Principal Investigators

University of Duisburg-Essen Prof. Stefan Stieglitz

Unisinos (CULTPOP) Prof. Adriana da Rosa Amaral

Unisinos (LIC) Prof. Maria Clara Aquino

Unisinos Beatriz Blanco

Unisinos Eloy Vieira

Unisinos Cassia Schuch

University of Duisburg-Essen Anna-Katharina Jung

University of Duisburg-Essen Julian Marx