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Typology of vaccine refusals on Facebook in Malaysia

Wan Mohd Ghazali, Wan Norshira and Idris, Hamidah and Mohamed, Shafizan and Mohd Nasir, Nur Shakira (2021) Typology of vaccine refusals on Facebook in Malaysia. SEARCH Journal of Media and Communication Research, 13 (3). pp. 55-70. ISSN 2229−872X E-ISSN 2672-7080

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Vaccine success stories in eradicating infectious diseases such as smallpox and polio have long been acknowledged. However, the function of vaccines is not widely known currently as these diseases are low profile. Studies have shown that social media users have always disseminated the harmful effects of vaccines on health without referring to valid and credible sources. This has led to an increase in anti-vaccine sentiment among the public and contributed to vaccine refusal around the globe, including Malaysia. Facebook is well known for providing the space for anti-vaxxers to engage and share distorted and unfounded views about vaccination. Therefore, this study is conducted to examine anti-vaxxers on Facebook and to understand their characteristics. A total of 456 Facebook users who claimed to reject vaccines publicly on a selected Facebook page, Malaysia Kene Tahu (MKT), were quantitatively profiled. The results show that the majority used genuine profile accounts while revealing only certain demographic information. There are three main categories of anti-vaxxers on Facebook based on their anti-vaccination content sharing, namely persistent, moderate, and uncertain. Although only a few people were persistent in sharing vaccine misinformation, this study argues that the impact could be detrimental as their personal Facebook is publicly visible which might influence other users. In conclusion, more strategic communication interventions involving various different stakeholders is needed to educate Facebook users against vaccine misinformation.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 7915/93993
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anti-vaxxers, demographic profiles, Facebook, self-presentation, vaccine refusal
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF698 Personality
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General) > H61 Theory. Method
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General) > H61.8 Communication of information
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics > HA154 Statistical data
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of Communication
Depositing User: Dr Wan Norshira Wan Mohd Ghazali
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2021 15:34
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2021 15:34
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/93993

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