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Understanding public sentiments and misbeliefs about Sustainable Development Goals: a sentiment and topic modeling analysis

Abhinav Verma (Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee, Roorkee, India)
Jogendra Kumar Nayak (Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee, Roorkee, India)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 30 April 2024

Issue publication date: 19 June 2024

163

Abstract

Purpose

Misinformation surrounding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has contributed to the formation of misbeliefs among the public. The purpose of this paper is to investigate public sentiment and misbeliefs about the SDGs on the YouTube platform.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors extracted 8,016 comments from YouTube videos associated with SDGs. The authors used a pre-trained Python library NRC lexicon for sentiment and emotion analysis, and to extract latent topics, the authors used BERTopic for topic modeling.

Findings

The authors found eight emotions, with negativity outweighing positivity, in the comment section. In addition, the authors identified the top 20 topics discussing various SDGs and SDG-related misbeliefs.

Practical implications

The authors reported topics related to public misbeliefs about SDGs and associated keywords. These keywords can be used to formulate social media content moderation strategies to screen out content that creates these misbeliefs. The result of hierarchical clustering can be used to devise and optimize response strategies by governments and policymakers to counter public misbeliefs.

Originality/value

This study represents an initial endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of the public’s misbeliefs regarding SDGs. The authors identified novel misbeliefs about SDGs that previous literature has not studied. Furthermore, the authors introduce an algorithm BERTopic for topic modeling that leverages transformer architecture for context-aware topic modeling.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding details: The University Grant Commission of India supported this work under Grant number 190510175262.

Declaration of competing interest: The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Data availability statement: Data will be made available upon request.

Disclosure statement: The authors report there are no competing interests to declare.

Citation

Verma, A. and Nayak, J.K. (2024), "Understanding public sentiments and misbeliefs about Sustainable Development Goals: a sentiment and topic modeling analysis", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 256-274. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-05-2023-0073

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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