Along with partners at the Challenging Pseudoscience Group at the Royal Institution, Valent sought to cut through the noise of public debate around vaccines and understand and address the views of the voluntarily unvaccinated
By using machine learning to undertake cluster analysis of publicly accessible data from popular online anti-vaccination spaces, Valent was able to identify dominant character typologies. Following that, specialists at Telltale Research designed and conducted an ethnographic study of selected representatives of those typologies. The study revealed distinct worldviews behind vaccine hesitancy which are usually unstated in online debate. Valent presented the audience insights to YouTuber Abigail Thorn, who designed video content intended to engage the vaccine hesitant on their own terms.
- Identification of the online spaces, in which the particular narratives were being propagated
- Organisation and processing of the publicly accessible data
- Analysis of the resulting typologies
- Creation of media strategies based on evidence
- Monitoring for impact
The research resulted in a video titled “Vaccines and Freedom”, which was uploaded to Abigail’s Youtube channel in January 2022. Valent’s monitoring of the reactions to the video demonstrated overwhelmingly positive and open minded engagement, which is rare in online discussion when it comes to divisive issues, such as Covid.