Planetary Health Diet under attack by pro-meat movement - CSH

Planetary Health Diet under attack by pro-meat movement


Nov 26, 2019

Pro-meat social media activity may have turned some social media users against planetary health diet

 

A pro-meat social media campaign attacking academic research related to healthy diets may have influenced social media audiences more than communications from research organisations, finds new research under participation of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna. 

 

In January 2019, The Lancet’s report, “Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems” received significant positive international media coverage. The report concluded that greatly reduced meat and dairy consumption would improve health and environmental outcomes and proposed the “Planetary Health” diet.

 

However, an analysis of social media campaigns linked to the launch of the EAT-Lancet commission shows that days before the report’s launch, online pro-meat advocacy began to consolidate around the hashtag #yes2meat. In the months following the report’s launch, tweets attacking its findings surpassed balanced communications. The critics of the planetary health diet reached 26 million people on Twitter—compared with 25 million from academics and others promoting the research—despite having fewer followers (1.3 million compared with 3.45).

 

The social media analysis, based on 8.5 million tweets by 4,278 Twitter users, is published in the latest issue of The Lancet.

 

The authors, Victor Galaz, CSH’s David Garcia, and Stefan Daume found:

 

  • The digital countermovement was organized days ahead of the official launch of the EAT Lancet report. This has allowed the diffusion of critical, and at times defamatory, information from social media and alternative media platforms about the report.
  • On Twitter, negative sentiments and information surpassed balanced communication about the report from conventional media outlets, by the journal The Lancet, and science institutions involved in the scientific work.
  • The report and the ambitious communication campaign generated a clear digital backlash, and spurred the creation of a dormant #yes2meat movement. Over time, this skeptical movement may have helped sway undecided Twitter users.
  • The backlash was not driven by so called “social bots”, but by users mainly from the US, UK, Australia and Europe.
  • The #yes2meat hashtag proved very successful with a constantly growing number of tweets over several months after the report’s release.

 

 

Figure: Number of tweets and links, and community structure related to EAT-Lancet and yes2meat

(c) David Garcia
The upper graph shows a time series of the number of tweets for each term in a 24 hour rolling window over the first weeks after the EAT-Lancet launch (Jan 11–27).The lower graph shows the daily number of link shares to pages against and in favour of the Commission (A).A follower network with nodes and their outgoing links is coloured by community and coloured word clouds of the profiles of users in each community (B).Words have a size proportional to their frequency in profile text. The largest community (blue) is generally positive, with the second largest (red) very negative, and the third one (yellow) displaying a mix of sentiments. The fourth community (green) is composed of vegan diet supporters that opposed yes2meat independently of the EAT-Lancet Commission.

Scientific insights jeopardized by social media campaigns

 

“While conversations in social media such as Twitter only give you a glimpse of discussions online, it’s indeed worrying to see such a clear and successful digital backlash to insights provided by an ambitious scientific synthesis such as the EAT Lancet,” says Victor Galaz, co-author and Deputy Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University.

 

The authors found that over time Twitter users originally characterised as “undecided” retweeted critics six times more frequently than supporters, indicating that the sceptical movement may have helped sway their opinion.

 

The findings highlight that research organisations need to do more to manage online advocacy and disinformation campaigns. “It is critical to understand information dynamics of consumers and advocacy groups in the digital world,” says David Garcia, computational social scientist at the Complexity Science Hub Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna. “This study shows that scientific communication in social media is much more complex than through traditional mass media. However, now we can capture and analyze public conversations to tackle that complexity when talking to the wider public,” Garcia adds.

 

“Social media are now an integral part of the conversation on and with science. Researchers communicating critical research need to consider tools such as those used in our analysis to better understand the public impact of their research,” states Stefan Daume, data scientist and co-author of the study.

 

The study, titled “EAT-Lancet vs. #yes2meat: Understanding the digital backlash to the ‘planetary health diet'”, will appear online on November 25 in the journal The Lancet. In the print edition it will appear on December 7, 2019.

 

 

Find the full paper and figures here:

https://stockholmuniversity.box.com/s/1boa7iz90541k7ienqh1zywzlagq41na

 

 

Code and analysis, as well as additional visualizations can be seen here: https://github.com/dgarcia-eu/EATLancetR

 

 

Click for a GERMAN press release.


Event

CSH Talk by David Wolpert: “Uncertainty relations and fluctuation theorems for Bayes nets”


Feb 05, 2020 | 15:0016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Visitor

Yoed Kenett, University of Pennsylvania


Jan 26, 2020Jan 29, 2020

Visitor

Andrea Tacchella, European Commission, Joint Research Centre


Jan 27, 2020Jan 29, 2020

Event

CSH Talk by Niklas Reisz: “Information flow processes in complex systems”


Jan 24, 2020 | 15:0016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Press

Los defensores de la carne plantan cara a los científicos que aconsejan reducir su consumo


El País, Jan 2, 2020

Press

Mythos Ärztemangel


profil, Dec 16, 2019

Press

Collective emotions: Exploring the alignment of joy, sadness, anger, and more


APS Observer , Dec 15, 2019

News

Dec 10, 2019

New book: Our deep past seen with big data eyes

Press

When did societies become modern? ‘Big history’ dashes popular idea of Axial Age


Nature News, Dec 9, 2019

News

Nov 26, 2019

Planetary Health Diet under attack by pro-meat movement

News

Nov 11, 2019

Stress testing the health care system

News

Oct 22, 2019

What boosts creative work in teams?

Event

CSH Talk by David Wolpert: “Uncertainty relations and fluctuation theorems for Bayes nets”


Feb 05, 2020 | 15:0016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Visitor

Yoed Kenett, University of Pennsylvania


Jan 26, 2020Jan 29, 2020

Visitor

Andrea Tacchella, European Commission, Joint Research Centre


Jan 27, 2020Jan 29, 2020

Event

CSH Talk by Niklas Reisz: “Information flow processes in complex systems”


Jan 24, 2020 | 15:0016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Press

Los defensores de la carne plantan cara a los científicos que aconsejan reducir su consumo


El País, Jan 2, 2020

Press

Mythos Ärztemangel


profil, Dec 16, 2019

Press

Collective emotions: Exploring the alignment of joy, sadness, anger, and more


APS Observer , Dec 15, 2019

News

Dec 10, 2019

New book: Our deep past seen with big data eyes

Press

When did societies become modern? ‘Big history’ dashes popular idea of Axial Age


Nature News, Dec 9, 2019

News

Nov 26, 2019

Planetary Health Diet under attack by pro-meat movement

News

Nov 11, 2019

Stress testing the health care system

News

Oct 22, 2019

What boosts creative work in teams?

News

Dec 10, 2019

New book: Our deep past seen with big data eyes

News

Nov 26, 2019

Planetary Health Diet under attack by pro-meat movement

News

Nov 11, 2019

Stress testing the health care system

News

Oct 22, 2019

What boosts creative work in teams?

News

Oct 6, 2019

Out now: Sustainability colloquium | The Videos

News

Sep 30, 2019

Do statins increase osteoporosis risk?

News

Jun 11, 2019

Predicting success in show biz

News

Jun 5, 2019

13 Reasons Why | watching suicide in TV can be contagious

News

May 29, 2019

D4Dairy annual meeting at the Hub

News

Apr 11, 2019

Shocking Economics!

News

Apr 3, 2019

In need of ‘complexity economics’

News

Mar 20, 2019

Complex societies gave birth to big gods

Event

CSH Talk by David Wolpert: “Uncertainty relations and fluctuation theorems for Bayes nets”


Feb 05, 2020 | 15:0016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Visitor

Yoed Kenett, University of Pennsylvania


Jan 26, 2020Jan 29, 2020

Visitor

Andrea Tacchella, European Commission, Joint Research Centre


Jan 27, 2020Jan 29, 2020

Event

CSH Talk by Niklas Reisz: “Information flow processes in complex systems”


Jan 24, 2020 | 15:0016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Event

CSH Talk by Erwin Flores Tames: “Supply chain ID with payment data”


Jan 31, 2020 | 15:0016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Event

CSH Talk by Victor Galaz: Our Planet on the Edge—Can Technology Really Save Us?


Jan 17, 2020 | 15:0016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Visitor

Andres Gomez Livanoa, Harvard


Mar 02, 2020Mar 04, 2020

Visitor

Neave O’Clery, Oxford University


Mar 02, 2020Mar 04, 2020

Visitor

Rachata Muneepeerakul, University of Florida


Mar 02, 2020Mar 05, 2020

Visitor

Nicholas J. Gotelli, University of Vermont


Mar 01, 2020Mar 06, 2020

Visitor

Morgan Frank, MIT


Mar 02, 2020Mar 04, 2020

Visitor

Teresa Farinha, Utrecht University


Mar 02, 2020Mar 04, 2020

Press

Los defensores de la carne plantan cara a los científicos que aconsejan reducir su consumo


El País, Jan 2, 2020

Press

Mythos Ärztemangel


profil, Dec 16, 2019

Press

Collective emotions: Exploring the alignment of joy, sadness, anger, and more


APS Observer , Dec 15, 2019

Press

When did societies become modern? ‘Big history’ dashes popular idea of Axial Age


Nature News, Dec 9, 2019

Press

Unsozialer Feldzug


bauernladen.at, Dec 4, 2019

Press

Will the US Drag Canada into the ‘Turbulent 2020s’?


The Tyee, Nov 28, 2019

Press

Fleischesser lancierten Twitter-Kampagne gegen Lancet-Forscher


Der Standard, Nov 27, 2019

Press

How pro-meat Twitter scrambled the rollout of the planetary health diet


Quartz, Nov 26, 2019

Press

Las redes sociales ‘boicotearon’ la «dieta de salud planetaria» [Spanish]


ABC.es, Nov 26, 2019

Press

Wie Twitter-Kampagne Ernährungs-Empfehlungen gezielt unterminierte


APA Science, Nov 26, 2019

Press

Fleischfans gegen „Planetary Diet“


ORF Science, Nov 26, 2019

Press

Globaler Provinzialismus in der Ökonomie


FAZ, Nov 23, 2019