Anorexia & Social Media


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Presentation about the use of social media in anorexia based on those two studies:

Syed-Abdul S, Fernandez-Luque L, Jian WS, Li YC, Crain S, Hsu MH, Wang YC, Khandregzen D, Chuluunbaatar E, Nguyen PA, Liou DM
Misleading Health-Related Information Promoted Through Video-Based Social Media: Anorexia on YouTube
J Med Internet Res 2013;15(2):e30
DOI: 10.2196/jmir.2237
PMID: 23406655
PMCID: PMC3636813

Yom-Tov E, Fernandez-Luque L, Weber I, Crain SP
Pro-Anorexia and Pro-Recovery Photo Sharing: A Tale of Two Warring Tribes
J Med Internet Res 2012;14(6):e151
DOI: 10.2196/jmir.2239
PMID: 23134671
PMCID: PMC3510717

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Anorexia & Social Media

  1. 1. Pro-anorexia and social mediaLuis Fernandez Luque (@luisluque), eHealthResearcher, Norut Tromsø (Norway)
  2. 2. Pro-anorexia Anorexia has a huge impact in thehealth and quality of life of patientsand relatives. Pro-anorexia: anorexia as a lifestyle. Well-known problem for nearly adecade. Watching pro-anorexia website canaffect the health of the viewers. 13% of female teenagers havereported using pro-anorexia webs ina Belgium studyReferences available at:
  3. 3. Pro-Anorexia and Social Media
  4. 4. Pro-Anorexia in Norway
  5. 5. Misleading Health-Related InformationPromoted Through Video-Based SocialMedia: Anorexia on YouTubeSyed-Abdul S, Fernandez-Luque L, Jian WS, Li YC, Crain S, Hsu MH, WangYC, Khandregzen D, Chuluunbaatar E, Nguyen PA, Liou DM. MisleadingHealth-Related Information Promoted Through Video-Based Social Media:Anorexia on YouTube. J Med Internet Res 2013;15(2):e30
  6. 6. Study goals• YouTube is one of the mostvisited webpages worldwide• No studies on the prevalence ofpro-anorexia videos onYouTube.• 26% of American teenagershave posted videos online.
  7. 7. Study Methods• We extracted 7583 anorexia-related videos andanalized 140 (most popular, random, etc.) andclassified them in:– Informative videos– Pro-anorexia– Un-related
  8. 8. Pro-anorexia videos
  9. 9. Informative videos
  10. 10. Results I• Around 1/3 of the videos were pro-anorexia, halfinformative and 20% unrelated.• If extrapolated, we can expect more than 2.000videos promoting anorexia in YouTube.• Pro-anorexia videos had less views, but weremore favorited (3x) and had more rating activity(2X).
  11. 11. Results II• The top-20 pro-anorexia videos had 9.5 millionviews.• We studied demographic information available in15 videos. Minors were in the top-age group in80% of them.
  12. 12. Conclusions• There is a need for better tools to filter pro-anorexia content.• Pro-anorexia videos are highly rated.• Pro-anorexia videos are being watch by minors
  13. 13. Pro-Anorexia and Pro-Recovery PhotoSharing: A Tale of Two Warring TribesYom-Tov E, Fernandez-Luque L, Weber I, Crain SP Pro-Anorexia and Pro-Recovery Photo Sharing: A Tale of Two Warring Tribes J Med Internet Res2012;14(6):e151
  14. 14. Study goal• To study the social network dimanics of the pro-anorexia and pro-recovery communities in thephoto-sharing social network Flickr.• Previous studies only focused on pro-anorexiacommunities and not in the interaction.
  15. 15. Anorexia and Flickr
  16. 16. Methods• We extracted information about 491 users bothpro-anorexia and pro-recovery. These users hadposted 242,710 photos.• Social Network Analysis, Data Mining and othertechniques were applied to understand better thedynamics.
  17. 17. Results I• There are two clearlyseparated and inter-mindgle communities.• Network graphs(blue=pro-recovery,red=pro-anorexia) basedon (from top left,clickwise): contacts,favorites, tags,comments.
  18. 18. Results II - differences• Pro-anorexia users post less photos of themselves.• Pro-recovery are more active but publish about awider set of topics.• Pro-anorexia users are much likely to favorite a photofrom an pro-anorexia user than by an pro-recovery.• Pro-recovery users often try to engage pro-anorexiausers by using the same keywords in their photos(e.g. pro-anorexia)
  19. 19. Results II - influences• When a pro-recovery user commented on a photo of apro-anorexia user, the pro-anorexia user was morelikely to continue posting pro-anorexia photos.• When a pro-anorexia user comments on a photo of apro-recovery user, the pro-recovery user is more likelyto stop posting pro-recovery photos.• The influence of pro-anorexia users is higher than pro-recovery users.
  20. 20. Results II - Conclusions• The pro-anorexia network dynamics are far morecomplex than expected.• Social clues are crucial for filtering pro-anorexiacontent.• Better understanding of network dynamics can help todesign better public health interventions and avoidcounter-effects.
  21. 21. Questions ?Luis Fernandez Luque (