Social Media Analytics MQPPublic Deposited
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As social media platforms continue to expand their reach, these platforms can facilitate public health discussions, such as mental health discussions, to a widespread group of individuals. However, the stigma associated with discussing mental health on social media poses one of the largest barriers to mental health conversations and awareness. Our project explored whether the stigma and negative attitudes surrounding the mental health discussion on social media have dissipated in recent years. Study 1 involved collecting and analyzing data from Twitter to determine changes in engagement in the mental health discussion over three different periods, about a decade ago, pre-COVID-19, and post-COVID-19. Findings show that both engagement and sentiment towards mental health discussions have increased over time through Twitter. Study 2 included an experiment where participants viewed and rated their engagement tactics towards four real tweets gathered from Twitter and rated their agreement towards two different scales with one scale geared towards the stigma of posting about an individual’s mental health on social media and one scale geared towards the general stigma of individuals who struggle with mental health in general. We found that participants were more likely to engage with positive tweets and that they are more comfortable discussing the mental health of those close to them rather than their mental health.
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Permanent link to this page: https://digital.wpi.edu/show/8w32r9280