On quantifying diffusion of health information on Twitter

Gokhan Bakal, Ramakanth Kavuluru

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

With the increasing use of digital technologies, online social networks are emerging as major means of communication. Recently, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are also being used by consumers, care providers (physicians, hospitals), and government agencies to share health related information. The asymmetric user network and the short message size have made Twitter particularly popular for propagating health related content on the Web. Besides tweeting on their own, users can choose to retweet particular tweets from other users (even if they do not follow them on Twitter.) Thus, a tweet can diffuse through the Twitter network via the follower-friend connections. In this paper, we report results of a pilot study we conducted to quantitatively assess how health related tweets diffuse in the directed follower-friend Twitter graph through the retweeting activity. Our effort includes (1). development of a retweet collection and Twitter retweet graph formation framework and (2). a preliminary analysis of retweet graphs and associated diffusion metrics for health tweets. Given the ambiguous nature (due to polysemy and sarcasm) of health relatedness of tweets collected with keyword based matches, our initial study is limited to " 200 health related tweets (which were manually verified to be on health topics) each with at least 25 retweets. To our knowledge, this is first attempt to study health information diffusion on Twitter through retweet graph analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE EMBS International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics, BHI 2017
Pages485-488
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781509041794
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 11 2017
Event4th IEEE EMBS International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics, BHI 2017 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Feb 16 2017Feb 19 2017

Publication series

Name2017 IEEE EMBS International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics, BHI 2017

Conference

Conference4th IEEE EMBS International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics, BHI 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando
Period2/16/172/19/17

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Biomedical Engineering

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