Skip to main content

Rumour mining

The aim of the project is to investigate the role and importance of rumouring for the vaccination skepticism growing on the internet, and how it can be understood as an expression of civic engagement in the present digital times entailing crucial transformations for everyday civic culture. The project combines theories and methods from ethnology, media and communication studies, and language technology. Theoretically, the project builds upon, and develop, media researcher Dahlgren’s work on civic culture and Kitta’s studies of the anti-vaccination movement. The overarching research question is: How have the everyday practice and experience of, and the conditions for, rumours been shaped and reshaped in the digital age, and what do these processes mean for civic engagement and participation? The growing vaccination hesitancy in Sweden, characterized by extensive rumouring on the internet, constitutes the empirical focus. The project also has a method developing purpose, in examining how quantitative (language technology) and qualitative (ethnographic) methods can be combined to an effective tool for exploring how rumours are established, emitted and circulated on social media, and how people relate to these rumours in their own deliberations and decision-making. The method combination, termed “rumour mining”, will be tested in a minor pilot study of another case, very different from the main one, that is, the Swedish Academy s transformation in the wake of #metoo.  

Project duration

Project members


Research topics

  • digital humanities

Project type

  • Research project

Umbrella project