May 22, 2022

Research Preprint: “(Mis)perceptions and Engagement on Twitter: COVID-19 Vaccine Rumors on Efficacy and Mass Immunization Effort”

The following research article (preprint) was recently shared on arXiv.


(Mis)perceptions and Engagement on Twitter: COVID-19 Vaccine Rumors on Efficacy and Mass Immunization Effort


Filipo Sharevski
DePaul University

Allice Huff
DePaul University

Peter Jachim
DePaul University

Emma Pieroni
DePaul University


via arXiv
November 10, 2021


This paper reports the findings of a 606-participant study where we analyzed the perception and engagement effects of COVID-19 vaccine rumours on Twitter pertaining to (a) vaccine efficacy; and (b) mass immunization efforts in the United States. Misperceptions regarding vaccine efficacy were successfully induced through simple content alterations and the addition of popular anti COVID-19 hashtags to otherwise valid Twitter content. Twitter’s misinformation contextual tags caused a “backfire effect” for the skeptic, vaccine-hesitant reinforcing their opposition stance. While the majority of the participants staunchly refrain from engaging with the COVID-19 rumours, the skeptic, vaccine-hesitant ones were open to comment, re-tweet, like and share the vaccine efficacy rumors. We discuss the implications of our results in the context of broadening the effort for dispelling rumors about COVID-19 on social media.

Direct to Full Text Article
8 pages; PDF.

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Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.