Medical Experts as Social Media Influencers of Networks of Practice in the Fight Against COVID-19

Investigators: Bernardi, Roberta (PI), Simpson, Edwin D. (Co-I), Davis, Oliver S. (Co-I)

Start/end date: 31/01/22 - 04/07/2022

Funder: Jean Golding Institute (University of Bristol)


Medical experts who act as influencers on social media have the power to influence public trust in public health guidance. Despite their influence, the role of medical experts in shaping public health discourse through social media has not received sufficient consideration. This project focuses on medical experts as the driving force of Network of Practices (NoPs) on Twitter and investigates the influence of these networks on public health discourse and practice in the fight against COVID-19. It contributes to a greater understanding of the impact of social media on the loss of public trust in public health, one of the greatest challenges of our time. It will use machine learning to identify latent topics that are representative of practices and then construct multimodal networks that include topics/practices and actors as nodes and Twitter affordances as edges of the network (e.g. retweets, @mentions) (Click here for further information).