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A Content Analysis of COVID-19 Pro-Vaccine and Ant-Vaccine Internet Memes in Poland

Group publication title:

Academic Journal of Modern Philology

Subject and Keywords:

content analysis   memes   COVID-19   persuasion methods


Academic Journal of Modern Philology is a scientific journal oriented towards interdisciplinary studies. AJMP has been included in the register of journals published by The Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education with 70 points awarded. The journal seeks original articles on linguistics with special focus on comparative studies, anthropological linguistics, science of cognition, social communication and literary studies. Since the founding of the journal in 2012, it has been our goal to foster the development of linguistic studies through an open exchange of ideas, while maintaining the highest standards of academic publishing. Contributions are subject to a double-blind peer reviews for authenticity, ethical issues and usefulness. The reviewing procedure is supervised by the International Advisory Board. The articles are published mainly in English, German, French and Polish. Academic Journal of Modern Philology is an open access journal published annually by the Committee for Philology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Wrocław Branch and the College for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Wrocław.


Faced with Covid-19, people are overwhelmed with information coming not only from governmental, or health care sources, but also from social media and digital communication platforms. The Internet and, especially, social media are often inundated with unreliable or even false information regarding Covid-19 and vaccination against it. This seriously impacts public health, since misinformed people may be hesitant towards the health-related measures enforced by governments and health authorities, which, in turn, contributes to their vaccine hesitancy. The aim of the paper is to investigate the Internet memes created and popularized in Poland by supporters and opponents of Covid-19 vaccinations. The data for the study include memes published between December 2020 (vaccinations become available in Poland) to May 2021 and comes from the most popular, publicly accessible social networks and meme pages with the greatest number of followers. The content analysis rests on such variables as (1) whether the meme is pro- or anti-vaccine, (2) what persuasive appeals (emotion, fear, rationality) are used, (3) the number of reactions and shares. Additionally, the author looks at the thematic content of the memes and tries to specify whether the pro- and anti-vaccination memes contain more gist than verbatim information. The analysis aims to define persuasion methods that pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine groups use in their memes.

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e-ISSN 2353-3218   ISSN 2299-7164





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Attribution, ShareAlike


Creative Commons - Attribution, ShareAlike (CC BY-SA 3.0)   click here to follow the link

Location of original object:

College for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Wrocław