Words matter: how privacy concerns and conspiracy theories spread on Twitter - Prof. Annamaria Tuan

Seminario del Mercoledì 26 Maggio 2021

  • Data: 26 maggio 2021 dalle 13:00 alle 14:00

  • Luogo: On line su piattaforma TEAMS

  • Modalità d'accesso: Ingresso libero


The use of contact-tracing apps to curb the spreading of the Covid-19 pandemic has stimulated social media debates on privacy concerns about the use and storage of sensitive data and on conspiracy theories positing that these apps are part of plans against individuals’ freedom.

By analyzing the type of language of tweets, we found which words, linguistic style, and emotions conveyed by tweets are more likely to be associated with privacy concerns and conspiracy theories and how they affect virality.

To do so, we analyze a set of 5615 tweets related to the Italian tracing app “Immuni”.

Results suggest that privacy concerns and conspiracy theories belong to different domains and exert different effects on the virality of tweets.

Furthermore, the characteristics of the text (namely, complexity, certainty and emotions) cue different tweeters behaviors.

This study helps researchers and managers to infer the psychological mechanisms that lead people to spread tweets about privacy concerns and conspiracy theories as well as how these texts impact the user who receives it.

Breve biografia del relatore:

Annamaria Tuan is Junior Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Department of Management of the University of Bologna. 

She holds a PhD in Business Studies from the University of Udine and she spent four years as Researcher at the University of Pisa, before joining University of Bologna. 

Her research interests focus on the intersection between Corporate Social Responsibility communication and Social Media Marketing.

Her work is mainly focused on text analysis, with a particular interest on the effect of content and linguistic features of text on outcome variables such as consumer word of mouth, companies’ reputation, virality of news, legitimacy issues in a range of consumer and corporate contexts.