77 research outputs found

    Dynamics of Content Quality in Collaborative Knowledge Production

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    We explore the dynamics of user performance in collaborative knowledge production by studying the quality of answers to questions posted on Stack Exchange. We propose four indicators of answer quality: answer length, the number of code lines and hyperlinks to external web content it contains, and whether it is accepted by the asker as the most helpful answer to the question. Analyzing millions of answers posted over the period from 2008 to 2014, we uncover regular short-term and long-term changes in quality. In the short-term, quality deteriorates over the course of a single session, with each successive answer becoming shorter, with fewer code lines and links, and less likely to be accepted. In contrast, performance improves over the long-term, with more experienced users producing higher quality answers. These trends are not a consequence of data heterogeneity, but rather have a behavioral origin. Our findings highlight the complex interplay between short-term deterioration in performance, potentially due to mental fatigue or attention depletion, and long-term performance improvement due to learning and skill acquisition, and its impact on the quality of user-generated content

    Detecing Anti-Vaccine Users on Twitter

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    Vaccine hesitancy, which has recently been driven by online narratives, significantly degrades the efficacy of vaccination strategies, such as those for COVID-19. Despite broad agreement in the medical community about the safety and efficacy of available vaccines, a large number of social media users continue to be inundated with false information about vaccines and are indecisive or unwilling to be vaccinated. The goal of this study is to better understand anti-vaccine sentiment by developing a system capable of automatically identifying the users responsible for spreading anti-vaccine narratives. We introduce a publicly available Python package capable of analyzing Twitter profiles to assess how likely that profile is to share anti-vaccine sentiment in the future. The software package is built using text embedding methods, neural networks, and automated dataset generation and is trained on several million tweets. We find this model can accurately detect anti-vaccine users up to a year before they tweet anti-vaccine hashtags or keywords. We also show examples of how text analysis helps us understand anti-vaccine discussions by detecting moral and emotional differences between anti-vaccine spreaders on Twitter and regular users. Our results will help researchers and policy-makers understand how users become anti-vaccine and what they discuss on Twitter. Policy-makers can utilize this information for better targeted campaigns that debunk harmful anti-vaccination myths
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