The broad reach and inaccuracy of men's health information on social media: analysis of TikTok and Instagram.

Social media (SoMe) offers great potential to expand access to health information, but a significant proportion of users consume its content instead of consulting a physician. We sought to quantify the volume and characterize the accuracy of men's health-related content on TikTok and Instagram. We searched TikTok and Instagram for the terms: testosterone, erectile dysfunction, male infertility, semen retention, Peyronie's disease, and vasectomy. The top 10 hashtags for each term were used to estimate the total impressions for each term on each platform, and posts were then characterized by creator type, content type, and accuracy (1 to 5 scale). TikTok had 2,312,407,100 impressions and Instagram had 3,107,300 posts across all topics. Semen retention had the most impressions on TikTok (1,216,074,000) and posts on Instagram (1,077,000). Physicians created only a small portion of total TikTok and Instagram posts (10.3% and 12.9%, respectively). Across all topics, the accuracy of content was poor (2.6 ± 1.7), however, physician posts were more accurate than non-physician posts (mean 4.2 ± 1.2 vs 2.3 ± 1.6, p < 0.001, respectively). Men's health content is popular on TikTok and Instagram but is not accurate. We recommend that physicians actively engage in SoMe to address misinformation.

International journal of impotence research. 2022 Nov 19 [Epub ahead of print]

Justin M Dubin, Jonathan A Aguiar, Jasmine S Lin, Daniel R Greenberg, Mary Kate Keeter, Richard J Fantus, Minh N Pham, Matthew T Hudnall, Nelson E Bennett, Robert E Brannigan, Joshua A Halpern

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA. ., Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA., Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Northshore University Health System, Evanston, IL, USA.

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