A Framework for Online Public Health Debates: Some Design Elements for Visual Analytics Systems
Nowadays, many people are deeply concerned about their physical well-being; as a result, they invest much time and effort investigating health-related topics. In response to this, many online websites and social media profiles have been created, resulting in a plethora of information on such topics. In a given topic, oftentimes, much of the information is conflicting, resulting in online camps that have different positions and arguments. We refer to the collection of all such positionings and
... trenched camps on a topic such as an online public health debate. The information people encounter regarding such debates can ultimately influence how they make decisions, what they believe, and how they act. Therefore, there is a need for public health stakeholders (i.e., people with a vested interest in public health issues) to be able to make sense of online debates quickly and accurately. In this paper, we present a framework-based approach for investigating online public health debates—a preliminary work that can be expanded upon. We first introduce the concept of online debate entities (ODEs), which is a generalization for those who participate in online debates (e.g., websites and Twitter profiles). We then present the framework ODIN (Online Debate entIty aNalyzer), in which we identify, define, and justify ODE attributes that we consider important for making sense of online debates. Next, we provide an overview of four online public health debates (vaccines, statins, cannabis, and dieting plans) using ODIN. Finally, we showcase four prototype visual analytics systems whose design elements are informed by the ODIN framework.