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#Scamdemic, #Plandemic, or #Scaredemic: What Parler Social Media Platform Tells Us about COVID-19 Vaccine

William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
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Academic Editor: Ralph J. DiClemente
Vaccines 2021, 9(5), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9050421
Received: 4 March 2021 / Revised: 17 April 2021 / Accepted: 20 April 2021 / Published: 22 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination)
This study aims to understand public discussions regarding COVID-19 vaccine on Parler, a newer social media platform that recently gained in popularity. Through analyzing a random sample (n = 400) of Parler posts using the hashtags #COVID19Vaccine and #NoCovidVaccine, we use the concept of echo chambers to understand users’ discussions through a text analytics approach. Thematic analysis reveals five key themes: reasons to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine (40%), side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine (28%), population control through the COVID-19 vaccine (23%), children getting vaccinated without parental consent (5%), and comparison of other health issues with COVID-19 (2%). Textual analysis shows that the most frequently used words in the corpus were: nocovidvaccine (348); vaccine (264); covid (184); covid19 (157); and vaccines (128). These findings suggest that users adopted different terms and hashtags to express their beliefs regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Further, findings revealed that users used certain hashtags such as “echo” to encourage like-minded people to reinforce their existing beliefs on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and vaccine acceptance. These findings have implications for public health communication in attempts to correct false narratives on social media platforms. Through widely sharing the scientific findings of COVID-19 vaccine-related studies can help individuals understand the COVID-19 vaccines efficacy accurately. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; echo chamber; online discussions; misinformation; Parler; social media COVID-19 vaccine; echo chamber; online discussions; misinformation; Parler; social media
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MDPI and ACS Style

Baines, A.; Ittefaq, M.; Abwao, M. #Scamdemic, #Plandemic, or #Scaredemic: What Parler Social Media Platform Tells Us about COVID-19 Vaccine. Vaccines 2021, 9, 421. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9050421

AMA Style

Baines A, Ittefaq M, Abwao M. #Scamdemic, #Plandemic, or #Scaredemic: What Parler Social Media Platform Tells Us about COVID-19 Vaccine. Vaccines. 2021; 9(5):421. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9050421

Chicago/Turabian Style

Baines, Annalise, Muhammad Ittefaq, and Mauryne Abwao. 2021. "#Scamdemic, #Plandemic, or #Scaredemic: What Parler Social Media Platform Tells Us about COVID-19 Vaccine" Vaccines 9, no. 5: 421. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9050421

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