Trend Towards Favorable Discourses About GMOs Seen In Traditional and Social Media Platforms
More than a hundred thousand online and print articles and more than a
million social media posts were analyzed by researchers to determine the
volume and tenor of the GMOconversation from 2018 to 2020. The results
showed that both social and traditional media may be moving toward a
more favorable and less polarized overall conversation on ag-biotech.
The study was conducted by US researchers to evaluate the volume, reach,
and sentiment of the social and traditional media conversation about
GMOs between January 2018 and December 2020 to help enlighten questions
about how media coverage may influence public perceptions. The study
also investigated how the media covers issues about GMOs, and if the
former shares the same scientific perception about the latter. It also
helped determine if certain companies influence the tone of
conversation, what the roles of bots and cyborgs are in the
conversation, how the volume of coverage has shifted, and what are the
attitudes toward emerging ag-biotech tools.
The researchers were able to determine that traditional media tended to
be more positive in their coverage than social media in 2018 and 2019,
but the gap disappeared in 2020. Trends toward increasing favorability
were also observed in both traditional and social media, more
particularly in social media. Positive favorability observed in Africa
may be associated with farmers being able to witness field trials and
plant GM seeds, as well as the decrease of activity by anti-GMO
activists in areas where GM cropshave been adopted. As for the roles of
cyborgs and bots, the researchers noted that these may be intentionally
used by malicious actors to make GMO conversations appear to be more
negative than it is. They also observed a drop in the salience of the
GMO debate among the wider population.
Overall, the researchers concluded that the study results suggest that
both social and traditional media may be leaning towards a more
favorable and less polarized conversation on ag-biotech.
Full article: The state of the ‚??GMO‚?? debate - toward an increasingly
favorable and less polarized media conversation on ag-biotech?