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Measuring the Effect of Public Health Campaigns on Twitter: The Case of World Autism Awareness Day

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Wasim Ahmed



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by Springer, Cham, 2018.

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Mass media campaigns are traditional methods of raising public awareness in order to reinforce positive behaviors and beliefs. However, social media platforms such as Twitter have the potential to offer an additional route into raising awareness of general and specific health conditions. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which a public health campaign, World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), could increase Twitter activity and influence the average sentiment on Twitter, and to discover the types of information that was shared on the platform during a targeted awareness campaign. This study gathered over 2,315,283 tweets in a two-month period. Evidence suggests that the autism campaign, WAAD, was successful in raising awareness on Twitter, as an increase in both the volume of tweets and level of positive sentiment were observed during this time. In addition, a framework for assessing the success of health campaigns was developed. Further work is required on this topic to determine whether health campaigns have any long lasting impact on Twitter users.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ahmed W, Bath PA, Sbaffi L, Demartini G

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: International Conference on Information

Year of Conference: 2018

Pages: 10-16

Online publication date: 15/03/2018

Acceptance date: 16/11/2017

Date deposited: 04/07/2019

ISSN: 9783319781044

Publisher: Springer, Cham


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-78105-1_2