Friends get vaccinated: The power of social media groups in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign
In times of crisis the power of social media is reflected in its ability to influence social behavior and act quickly without bureaucratic mechanisms. During the Israeli COVID-19 vaccination campaign, social media groups were formed to collect, verify, and disseminate information about leftover vaccine doses. Masses of people quickly joined these groups, rushed to the vaccine locations, and shared real-time information with other group members. Based on 15 semi-structured interviews with group members and admins, we identified three motives for creating groups: making information accessible, the struggle against vaccine opponents, and a desire to return to life as it was before the pandemic. Rapid group joining has been described in terms of collective behavior and contagion theory.
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