Applying an Epidemiological Model to Evaluate the Propagation of Toxicity related to COVID-19 on Twitter

Maleki, Maryam
Arani, Mohammad
Mead, Esther
Kready, Joseph
Agarwal, Nitin
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The prevalence of social media has increased the propagation of toxic behavior among users. Toxicity can have detrimental effects on users’ emotion and insight and disrupt beneficial discourse. Evaluating the propagation of toxic content on social networks such as Twitter can provide the opportunity to understand the characteristics of this harmful phenomena. Identifying a mathematical model that can describe the propagation of toxic content on social networks is a valuable approach to this evaluation. In this paper, we utilized the SEIZ (Susceptible, Exposed, Infected, Skeptic) epidemiological model to find a proper mathematical model for the propagation of toxic content related to COVID-19 topics on Twitter. We collected Twitter data based on specific hashtags related to different COVID-19 topics such as Covid, Mask, Vaccine, and Lockdown. The findings demonstrate that the SEIZ model can properly model the propagation of toxicity on a social network with relatively low error. Determining an efficient mathematical model can increase the understanding of the dynamics of the propagation of toxicity on a social network such as Twitter. This understanding can help researchers and policy-makers to develop methods to limit the propagation of toxic content on social networks.
Network Analysis of Digital and Social Media, covid-19, mathematical modeling, seiz model, toxicity, twitter
10 pages
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Proceedings of the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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