Anti-vaccine, anti-5G, hydroxychloroquine... When the defiance is surging on Twitter - The verge

It is a ray of defiance in public, a precise analysis and documented the wave of skepticism politics that befell the country during the crisis of the Covid-19.

Anti-vaccine, anti-5G, hydroxychloroquine... When the defiance is surging on Twitter - The verge

It is a ray of defiance in public, a precise analysis and documented the wave of skepticism politics that befell the country during the crisis of the Covid-19. The agency Majorelle, releases on this day " the great contagion ", a study carried out thanks to an innovative tool for the analysis of public opinion, based on the social networks. This technology, called Lucy, is based on a panel of more than 100 000 French accounts provided and anonymized by Twitter and allows, thanks to a system of parameterized filters, to scan and track the behaviour of the panel at the minute. This study allows to objectify and measure insights hitherto little documented. It is clear that a significant proportion of the French accounts are regularly and systematically exposed to messages promoting the theories of the skeptics, or complotistes. Other teaching size, there is a porosity between major different families of skeptics. In other words, there are large probabilities for you to be much more exposed to messages of anti-vaccine if you already keep track of accounts anti-5G or alternative media.

"With this tool, it becomes possible to know the position and the weight of multiple accounts in any conversation, their influence average or exposure to any other conversation," says Sacha Mandel, co-founder of the agency Majorelle at the head of the project analysis conversational, " this is the first technology that allows you to analyze the exposure of the messages that are received by the general public ". The authors of the study have thus determined the zones of influence and mapped the networks of seven communities as "skeptics" or challenging particularly active on the social networks. Among these groups, one crosses the " anti-big pharma ", the "anti-vaccine" – cousins of the preceding–, " anti-5G ", the anti-nuclear (the community largely more structured), of the followers of a read environmental close movements animalistes and antispécistes, anti-technology or advocates in favour of hydroxychloroquine on the faith arguments that are much more political than scientific.

Read also The social networks they are responsible of the complotisme ?

massive Exposure

The measurements suggest that the rate of exposure to the ideas of the skeptics and challenging frankly massif : 14 % of French people on Twitter are exposed at least once per month to spread messages of anti-vaccine, at the rate of nine messages per day on average. Same thing for the anti-5G. The animalistes radicals and antispécistes enjoy an exhibition more strong with 23% of the French accounts exposed at least once per month to a message, at a rate of eight messages per day on average. As for the anti-nuclear, they are far ahead with more than 31 % of French accounts exposed at least once per month, at thirty-eight messages per day on average.

"Some blocks of public opinion are clearly overexposed to conversations conspiracy," says the study. Some factors, such as the following some accounts, will encourage overexposure to these messages. "While only 7 % of the French take at least one alternative media*, they are 35 % among the ana, and 57 % among the anti-vaccine. "This means that when one follows at least one alternative media, the likelihood of being exposed to content that is skeptical explodes : 75 % of the skeptics who follow alternative media are exposed to at least one content anti-vaccines each month (compared to 14 % for the French average), 72 % are exposed to content that is anti-5G (compared to 13% for the French average) or 86 % are exposed to content that is pro-chloroquine (against 24 % for the French average). In other words, those who follow the alternative media are literally regularly bludgeoned with messages about certain topics. This is true with chloroquine : "The French have received, on average, 20 messages pro-chloroquine-by-day between the 8 may and 8 June 2020. Those who follow at least one alternative media have received a 230 per day on average in the same period ", details the study. If the period between 8 may and 8 June was able to give the impression that the whole of France took a great interest in the chloroquine, a rather counter-intuitive, this is much less about the panel : while the social network seemed to saturate messages on chloroquine, in reality only 1.8% of French accounts spoke on this topic...

Coefficient of propaganda

Thus, it is possible to measure the "magnifying glass effect" or the case of resonance that is Twitter for some activist groups, which identify "themes catch-all" to expand their audience. While opinions anti-5G to speak only on 2.6% of the user accounts of Twitter France, 13.6% of French users of Twitter are exposed to it each month... at a rate of more than eight messages daily on average. Lucy allows to highlight the characteristics common to a multitude of accounts that will express themselves on a given subject, in particular through the profiles of subscriptions and subscribers. This study, coupled with other indicators, allows to calculate a coefficient of propaganda, an indicator that aggregates six indicators whose average sleep time of accounts, which allows to assess the spontaneity of conversations on certain topics. Thus, one can doubt the sincerity and the personal nature of some accounts that manage to tweet all day and night. "We make the assumption that all communities skeptics have exploited the vein of chloroquine to attract the crowds and recruit new followers on the market of the doubt," advance this study. Sign that this skepticism is not always politically neutral, 33 % of anti-5G follow the accounts of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Marine Le Pen, against 5 % for the whole of the French accounts.

Read also : Who are really the anti-Linky ?

* List of Twitter accounts francophones regarded as "alternative media" in the study : @ajplusfrancais, @ajplus, @RTenfrancais, @sputnik_fr, @EetR_National, @FrDesouche, @slpng_giants_fr, @FrontPopOff, @IDIRTFr, @arretsurimages, @Brevesdepresse, @Fakir_, @F_Desouche, @Limportant_fr, @The MediaTV, @citoyenneFrance, @linfolibre, @AgenceInfoLibre, @reseau_internat, @tvlofficiel, @BVoltaire, @ObsContinental, @T_Bouhafs, @Reporterre, @ripostecatholiq, @ReinformationRC, @1RiposteLaique, @CRM_CRG, @revuemethode, @WikistrikeW and @Moutonenrages

Updated Date: 10 July 2020, 05:33

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