upgraded: Sep 22, 2021 01:00 EDT
September 22, 2021 (Newswire.com) –
An frustrating number of popular TikTok videos that reference alcohol focus on its positive associations and neglect unfavorable ones, according to a brand-new study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
The leading 100 most popular videos on the social networks platform utilizing the “#alcohol” hashtag had nearly 300 million combined deem of 2020, the report notes. An frustrating 98% of these videos consisted of positive representations of alcohol, whereas just 4% explained unfavorable alcohol-related repercussions, according to lead scientist Alex Russell, Ph.D., of the University of Arkansas.
“Social media platforms, such as TikTok, can influence health behavior,” states Russell. “For example, increased youth exposure to alcohol marketing on social media is linked to earlier drinking initiation and greater levels of overall alcohol consumption. More than a third of TikTok users are underage, so we felt it was important to characterize the content and themes present in videos portraying alcohol on this popular platform.”
The scientists evaluated the 100 most-liked videos on TikTok’s #alcohol page, which had 1.7 billion deem of 2020. Some 41% were guide videos, offering dishes for different beverages. Most (72%) consisted of spirits, 23% consisted of flavored malt drinks, 16% consisted of beer and 10% consisted of red wine.
Sixty-one percent depicted quick usage of numerous beverages, such as taking back-to-back shots, then downing from the bottle. They likewise promoted the concept that alcohol usage is related to relationship and friendship. The couple of that did discuss unfavorable associations — such as hangovers or physical injury — did so in a amusing, not instructional, way.
Although TikTok’s community standards forbid material that portrays the usage of alcohol, drugs or tobacco by minors, it’s uncertain how efficiently this policy is imposed.
Furthermore, “these videos were easily accessible through a simple internet search and could be viewed without … encountering an age-verification process,” the scientists compose. “Any nonregistered person can fully interact with alcohol videos on TikTok, regardless of age.”
The takeaway from their research study is threefold, states Russell.
First, “I would ask parents if they want TikTok to be where their kids get health information about topics such as alcohol use,” states Russell. “I’d encourage parents to do a simple internet search of ‘#alcohol TikTok’ and see if they are comfortable with the content and messages their children are exposed to.”
Second, he would let health professionals and scientists understand that TikTok and other social networks platforms are here to remain. However, public health specialists can utilize these exact same platforms to share science about the health truths of alcohol usage and to motivate crucial examination of alcohol-related messaging on social networks.
And lastly, concerning public law, Russell states the ease of access to alcohol-related material on TikTok highlights the requirement for some system (such as age confirmation) to reduce youth direct exposure to alcohol-related material on social networks platforms.
Source: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs