Vaporous marketing: Uncovering pervasive electronic cigarette advertisements on Twitter
PLoS ONE, 11, , 2016
Abstract: Twitter has become the “wild-west” of marketing and promotional strategies for advertisement agencies. Electronic cigarettes have been heavily marketed across Twitter feeds, offering discounts, “kid-friendly” flavors, algorithmically generated false testimonials, and free samples.
All electronic cigarette keyword related tweets from a 10% sample of Twitter spanning January 2012 through December 2014 (approximately 850,000 total tweets) were identified and categorized as Automated or Organic by combining a keyword classification and a machine trained Human Detection algorithm. A sentiment analysis using Hedonometrics was performed on Organic tweets to quantify the change in consumer sentiments over time. Commercialized tweets were topically categorized with key phrasal pattern matching.
The overwhelming majority (80%) of tweets were classified as automated or promotional in nature. The majority of these tweets were coded as commercialized (83.65% in 2013), up to 33% of which offered discounts or free samples and appeared on over a billion twitter feeds as impressions. The positivity of Organic (human) classified tweets has decreased over time (5.84 in 2013 to 5.77 in 2014) due to a relative increase in the negative words ‘ban’, ‘tobacco’, ‘doesn’t’, ‘drug’, ‘against’, ‘poison’, ‘tax’ and a relative decrease in the positive words like ‘haha’, ‘good’, ‘cool’. Automated tweets are more positive than organic (6.17 versus 5.84) due to a relative increase in the marketing words like ‘best’, ‘win’, ‘buy’, ‘sale’, ‘health’, ‘discount’ and a relative decrease in negative words like ‘bad’, ‘hate’, ‘stupid’, ‘don’t’.
Due to the youth presence on Twitter and the clinical uncertainty of the long term health complications of electronic cigarette consumption, the protection of public health warrants scrutiny and potential regulation of social media marketing.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).