The QR code as a symbol of protest: analysis of social network VKontakte

Natalya Legostaeva, Kirill Svetlov


In this study, we examine data from the popular Russian social network "VKontakte" to understand what types of discourses on the topic of QR codes are spread in it, including discourses related to protests. Clustering based on the doc2vec algorithm proved to be an effective method to group the communities by related topics. In particular, this approach allowed us to detect a cluster of communities representing op-ponents of QR code technology related to vaccination certificates from COVID-2019. As a result, both classical (coordinated actions, pickets, distribution of leaflets, appeals to the President of the Russian Federation, petitions, etc.) and new types of protests against QR codes were revealed (offline and online boycotts, car rallies, music marathons, cyber-attacks on state chat-bots and social media accounts of government representatives, etc.).

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