Projects and Partners

Twitter Data grant

Research project “How Twitter awareness campaigning affects cancer prevention and early detection behavior”. NIKOS contactperson: m.l.ehrenhard@utwente.nl.

Today, cancer is one of the most deadly diseases: worldwide, each and every minute more than 15 people die from cancer. According to the World Health Organization, about one third of these cancers deaths could be prevented by (1) doing research, (2) screening, (3) changing lifestyles and (4) taking vaccinations. Nowadays, health organizations initiate online campaigns to raise awareness and to change behavior among citizens. But little is known as to whether or not these campaigns really help. We will study how and under which conditions online cancer awareness campaigns actually increase funding, raise awareness, and change behavior of citizens.

The data that will be used for this project comes from a datagrant from the micro blogging platform Twitter that offers a unique opportunity to answer this research question and improve Twitter campaigns as an instrument for cancer awareness. Using these Twitter data and data about offline behavior, we will study four cancer awareness campaigns that aim to: 1) raise funds for prostate cancer research (#Movember), 2) motivate women to screen for breast cancer (#Mamming and #PinkRibbon), 3) increase the use of sunscreen to prevent skin cancer (#Sunsmart) and 4) motivate female teenagers to vaccinate against human papillomavirus (#HPVReport).

The project is conducted by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Public Administration Department and the Netherlands Institute for Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship of the Faculty of Behavioral, Management and Social Sciences, from the Databases Group of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science and from the #DataForGood program of Twitter.