Preprints are early versions of research articles that have not been peer reviewed. They should not be regarded as conclusive and should not be reported in news media as established information.
PREPRINT Vaccine hesitancy and shaming on TikTok.docx (129.35 kB)

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and shaming on TikTok: A multimodal appraisal analysis

Download (129.35 kB)
posted on 2022-03-30, 20:05 authored by Margo Van PouckeMargo Van Poucke

This article investigates the issues of vaccine hesitancy and shaming, which arose in response to the implementation of World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 recommendations, on the social media platform of TikTok. By extending appraisal theory to include the use of visual attitudinal appraisals, the study examines the semiotic resources employed by TikTok users within the overarching context of the pandemic. A total of 254 videos expressing pro- and anti-vaccination viewpoints, posted by American and Australian users between 1 January 2021 and 31 January 2022, were extracted from the social network and subjected to a computer-assisted analysis. The study shows that vaccine hesitancy on the social networking service (SNS) is fuelled by the echo chamber effect, while any vaccine shaming on the platform may be seen as conspicuous virtue-signalling. The speakers’ evaluative language is mostly positive, since their main objective is to elicit the approval of members belonging to the same sub-cultural group. A few suggestions are made to reduce the impact of echo chambers and to encourage scientific literacy among TikTok users.


Declaration of conflicts of interest

No conflicts of interest

Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Australia

Lead author job role

  • Higher Education Lecturer

Lead author institution

The University of Sydney

Terms agreed

  • Yes, I agree to Advance terms

Comments (1)

Log in to write your comment here...

Preparing a training course, seminar or any learning experience should be based on the learners’ needs and their interpretation. It is important for a trainer to identify the main ways and methods to identify learners’ needs and to be aware of the importance of doing this process to base the learning intervention on solid foundations. Name Style

Usage metrics

    Advance: Social Sciences & Humanities