Abstract: This study investigates the types of humor embedded in funny scientific posts on social media and their effects on engagement. We mapped the landscape of such posts on Twitter and Instagram through content analysis of their message attributes. Regression analyses were then conducted to examine how different humor types, communicative functions, and visual attributes were associated with liking, retweeting, and commenting. On Twitter, wordplay and satire were found to be positively related to posts’ engagement levels, while anthropomorphic humor was negatively associated with the presence of comments. On Instagram, humor had no relation to engagement.
Abstract: The use of humor is increasingly advocated as a means of enhancing the effectiveness and visibility of science messages on social media. However, the influence of humorous scientific content on user engagement is empirically unknown. The contribution of this study is threefold. First, we conduct a content analysis of humorous scientific posts on Twitter and Instagram to shed light on the poster qualities (number of followers and number of accounts following), technical attributes (presence of emojis and visuals, and number of hashtags), and content characteristics (presence of message purposes and humor types). Second, using regression models, we examine how these poster and message attributes are associated with multi-dimensional engagement with the posts in the form of liking, retweeting, and commenting. And third, this study investigates subtypes of humor (e.g., satire, wordplay, and anthropomorphism) embedded in funny scientific messages and their effects on engagement. These findings have implications for science communication practices on social media.
Abstract: Due to prevalent misinformation and low coverage rates for flu vaccination, the role of health departments to address uncertainty and increase awareness of flu vaccination facts in their messaging became crucial. Utilizing Twitter data generated during the peak of the 2017-2018 flu season, this study suggests that people presented negative attitude toward flu vaccination when they perceived lower self-efficacy from CDC tweets and experienced anger when they perceived lower level of uncertainty in flu risks.
Abstract: Social movements are increasingly using social media, and Twitter in particular, to reach existing and new publics and advance their mission. While historically movements had to rely on traditional media to connect with such publics, via social media any user can share content, helping to connect the key players within the movement to new publics. The quality of highly shared content, however, has been under scrutiny. The #BlackLivesMatter movement, one of the most prolific and popular hashtag movements on twitter, is examined as a case study, in order to determine the role of content importance and emotion on the virality of the movement. Four aspects of importance were examined – Policy or Action, Group, Social Actor and Politics– as well as direction of sentiment. Findings suggest important tweets were more likely to be retweeted, where tweets associated with policy or action showing the strongest relationship with retweeting. Tweets with expressed emotion were more likely to be retweeted than neutral tweets. When tweets contained important content related to Policy or Action or a Group as well as sentiment, these tweets were most likely to be retweeted, revealing a method for social movements to increase effectiveness. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.