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“‘Here’s How TikTok Saved My Life’: #Healthcare and #Medical TikToks as Public Health Announcement

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A presentation for SMS 2020

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“‘Here’s How TikTok Saved My Life’: #Healthcare and #Medical TikToks as Public Health Announcement

  1. 1. #Healthcare and #Medical TikToks as Public Health Announcements SOCIAL MEDIA + SOCIETY 2020 lauren rouse | university of central florida http://www.laurenrouse.net/ "HERE'S HOW TIKTOK SAVED MY LIFE"
  2. 2. PSA AND THE MEDIA PSAs are messages in the public interest disseminated without charge, with the objective of raising awareness of, and changing public attitudes and behavior towards, a social issue. Began in WWII in the US and UK at cinemas & theaters. A PUBLIC HEALTH FORUM Licensed medical doctors, especially those working in Western countries like the United States, began taking to the platform to educate users on medical issues like vaccinations, vaping, and sexual/reproductive health. COVID-19 IMPACT TikTok saw “an 18 percent increase in downloads, and was downloaded 2 million times between March 16 and 22 TIKTOK AS PSA Screengabs from @drleslie on TikTok 02
  3. 3. AFFORDANCES OF TIKTOK ZHU ET AL. (2019) "TikTok users prefer the presentation and format of micro- videos to be correlated to their understanding of difficult medical terms or jargons [...] [and that videos] can generate health related information to impact others, marketers and policy makers" (8, 10). 03
  4. 4. THE TIKTOK TECHNIQUE MUSIC & SOUND CAPTIONS COMMENT SECTION 1. 2. 3. Video from @hamstarz 04
  5. 5. RESULTS ACCESSIBLE PLATFORM TikTok provides both an accessible platform for users to discuss and debate medical issues and allows for those in the United States without health insurance, the ability to interact and confer on medical issues and seek medical advice. UNDERSTANDING & ATTENTION Users like @alexgriswold or users who credit @drleslie with helping them stop vaping, show that these PSAs on the platform are helping them better understand medical issues and medical jargon that may have been inacessible to them before. CIRCULATION & DIGITAL RHETORIC Social networking site users assemble and re-assemble ever- shifting publics and engage in “poetic world-making” (Warner, 2002) through circulating popularized rhetorics. Though scholars debate how much agency people have in these circulation processes, activist campaigns have consistently shown that people do retain some agency. 06 Video from @gloriagaynor
  6. 6. THANKS FOR ATTENDING! Lauren Rouse, MA Email: lrouse@knights.ucf.edu Twitter: @rouselaurenc

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