TikTok Is Not Your Doctor

Neither users nor advertisers will stop trying to make everything into a medical symptom.


Episode Notes

TikTok doesn’t know you better than you know yourself, even if you think it does. On the show today, Rachelle and Madison talk about two different ways the app leads people down dangerous paths. First, they discuss the recent uptick in posts and advertisements focused on diagnosing mental and physical health issues, and how it’s so easy to convince yourself that you’re suffering from whatever malady TikTok has presented. Then, they discuss the tragic death of Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst, who died by suicide last week, and the alarming development of TikTokkers convincing themselves that there was some nefarious conspiracy behind it.

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder.


About the Show

Join Rachelle Hampton twice a week as we gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back.

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  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr’s demise.

  • Madison Malone Kircher is a senior writer at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. She was previously a staff writer at New York magazine, where she covered internet culture and edited New York’s Approval Matrix. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vulture, and the Cut. Madison lives in Brooklyn, where she regularly drops her phone on her face watching TikToks in bed.