Exploring E-Cigarette Twitter Data: Understanding Trends and Implementing Surveillance
Methods: Manual content analysis of e-cigarette-related tweets from May 2013 to May 2014 guided the development of a supervised machine learning model to automate the analysis process. This automated process is being repeated for e-cigarette tweets from June 2014 to May 2015 to analyze trends over time.
Results: Predictive performance scores for machine learning classification models indicated that the models correctly labeled the tweets from 2013-2014. Replication of the automated process for tweets from 2014-2015 has been yielding promising results that document the continuing and changing trends in Twitter-based e-cigarette discourse over the past two years.
Conclusions: Automating the analysis of social media data can uncover long-term trends in personal sentiment, knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Turning content analysis into computational methodologies can enhance and extend research and practice. This work was successful in automating a complex content analysis of e-cigarette-related content on Twitter using machine learning techniques, and then replicating the process for a second year. The study details how e-cigarette conversations on Twitter change over time, and provides a model for continuous surveillance of Twitter data for other health topics and applications.
Learning Areas:Communication and informatics
Public health or related research
Evaluate the use of automated content analysis of e-cigarette-related twitter data over time Discuss trends in the public’s knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding e-cigarettes, and explore implications for implement prevention and cessation efforts Discuss the application of machine learning and automated surveillance to other health topics
Keyword(s): Social Media, Tobacco Control
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working with the Smokefree.gov research team for the past two years (as an NCI/Tobacco Control Research Branch's Health Communication Fellow at first, and an ICF International employee now). I have been involved with this project since the beginning of this year.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.