How Do Online Actors Navigate Facebook In Communicating Vaccination Messages


  • Damilola Ayeni Swinburne University


Background: Factually, health information is important to tackle issues around vaccination. The distribution of false information from online actors about the efficacy of vaccination online and on social media platforms has also been on the rise. This paper examines how various vaccination activists use Facebook to communicate critical messages about vaccination in Australia.

Aims: This paper argues that online actors leverage and negotiate the affordances of Facebook in different ways to communicate vaccination messages. Social media affordances are platform features that enhance, promote, or encourage communication practices and social interactions (Bucher & Helmond, 2017). It is also a relationship between the technology and the users and the possible or actual outcomes from the user's interactions with that platform (Evans, Pearce, Vitak, & Treem, 2017).

Methods: As this paper focuses on vaccination contents produced by online anti-vaccination groups, data was gathered using semi-structured interviews to identify specific techniques and practices used to communicate messages about childhood vaccination in Australia

Results: This paper offers an understanding of the specificity and complexity of communication techniques and practices of online actors on Facebook and how that influences the understanding of vaccination in Australia.

Conclusions: Findings from this paper significantly show an understanding of the evolving nature of social media platforms. Additionally, understanding online users' communication techniques, practices, and communities have uncovered some novel strategies for navigating Facebook.





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