Twitter and assisted dying: using social media analysis software to evaluate the conversation around assisted dying in terms of guidelines on responsible reporting of suicide

Hodson, Nathan and Cooper, Max (2017) Twitter and assisted dying: using social media analysis software to evaluate the conversation around assisted dying in terms of guidelines on responsible reporting of suicide. International Journal of Communication and Health, 2017 (12). ISSN 2359-8220

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Abstract

News reports of assisted dying can trigger individuals to end their own lives. Social media is unaccountable to guidelines on reporting suicides. Radian6 social media analysis software was used to explore whether Twitter messages breached guidelines on reporting assisted dying more often than formal online news. Tweets and online news were compared by how frequently “assisted dying” was collocated with test-words indicating breach of assisted dying reporting guidelines. Structural features of Twitter such as the word count limit, timeline arrangement, and the ease of sharing tweets, were also compared with four of the identified guidelines. Both analyses showed that several guidelines were breached more frequently on Twitter than on mainstream news.This proof of concept study shows that data from Twitter can be compared with guidelines in order to appraise the online representation of healthcare issues. Structural factors within Twitter may contribute to messages that contravene guidance on reporting assisted dying.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Co-location; Assisted dying; Social media analysis; Twitter
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Division of Medical Education
Depositing User: Maxwell Cooper
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2017 16:11
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2017 13:23
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/69109

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