Development and contribution to software to monitor online discussions on internet drug discussion forums
Forums are digital spaces suitable for the observation of emerging trends, such as new psychoactive substances (NPS). For this study, dedicated software has been configured for recognising the facing of 3 different Francophones forums. It collects threads names, creation dates and number of views. The researcher selects the threads for which a vigilant monitoring is appropriate, stores them by chemical families and self-reported effects plus if necessary by themes. The software then continues to collect information on indexed discussions. The tool allows to represent online the evolution of the number of views by a set of items (families, substances, countries …). It highlights changes and help to determine what trigger them: the placing of a new product on the market, side or desired effects, mediatised articles or specific theme. This tool offers a detailed picture of the behaviour of people toward the online knowledge on drugs. Its helps to provide tailored information better than the mass data produced by public Internet measurement facility. Its development stresses the need for research to develop its own digital tool to take advantage of digital data.