Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

The Multilingual Twitter Discourse on Vaccination in Germany During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Abstract:  There is evidence that specific segments of the population were hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic (e.g., people with a migration background). In this context, the impact and role played by online platforms in facilitating the integration or fragmentation of public debates and social groups is a recurring topic of discussion. This is where our study ties in, we ask: How is the topic of vaccination discussed and evaluated in different language communities in Germany on Twitter during the Covid-19 pandemic? We collected all tweets in German, Russian, Turkish, and Polish (i.e., the largest migrant groups in Germany) in March 2021 that included the most important keywords related to Covid-19 vaccination. All users were automatically geocoded. The data was limited to tweets from Germany. Our results show that the multilingual debate on Covid-19 vaccination in Germany does not have many structural connections. However, in terms of actors, arguments, and positions towards Covid-19 vaccination, the discussion in the different language communities is similar. This indicates that there is a parallelism of the debates but no social-discursive integration.

Keywords:  content analysis; Covid-19; multilingual communities; Twitter; vaccination debate


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© Hannah Schmid-Petri, Moritz Bürger, Stephan Schlögl, Mara Schwind, Jelena Mitrović, Ramona Kühn. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.