Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Constructing expertise: identity signaling among medical professionals on Twitter  
Celia Chen (University of Maryland)

Short abstract:

The paper investigates how Twitter shapes medical doctors' strategic communication of expertise online by identifying choices used to project credibility through thematic analysis, and provides transferable frameworks for mapping evolving knowledge exchange dynamics across virtual communities.

Long abstract:

This paper investigates the online identity construction of Twitter users displaying "MD" credentials in their display name, with a focus on individuals presenting themselves as medical doctors on the platform. Set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the study utilizes thematic analysis to explore how Twitter's technical constraints shape the projection of expertise. The findings reveal five prominent themes in tweets over a 4-month period, providing insights into strategic communication choices used on the platform. The literature review situates the study within social media scholarship while underscoring gaps in platform-specific analyses of online identity presentation among medical professionals. Drawing parallels between traditional expert-to-non-expert interactions and Twitter-based communication, the research advances understanding of public trust, scientific interpretation, and construction of medical expertise online. Quantitative assessment of credibility indicators by follower count contributes practical implications for the design of robust moderation tools on social platforms. Ultimately, this exploration of medical identity discourse via Twitter's unique affordances and visibility offers transferrable frameworks for mapping evolving dynamics of knowledge exchange across virtual communities.

Traditional Open Panel P208
Expert no more? Digital technologies and the transformation of expertise
  Session 1 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -